Ottawa police officers will be on the look out for stunt drivers, dangerous drivers and impaired drivers on Ottawa roads Friday night, as councillors hear complaints from residents about speeding and stunt driving in their wards.
Ottawa police issued a statement on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, saying that officers with the Traffic Unit will be out on the roads this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, police said a driver in a BMW was stopped going 108 km/h in a 60 km/h zone in the area of Bank and Athens.
“A stunt driving charge is never a good start to the weekend,” police said.
The Friday night blitz comes one week after officers issued dozens of tickets on Ottawa roads during the Thanksgiving weekend ‘Operation Impact’ traffic blitz. Police say officers issued 114 tickets for speeding and distracted driving, and charged nine motorists with impaired driving.
Councillors say they have been receiving complaints about speeding and stunt racing in their neighbourhoods, calling it a “significant issue” across the city this summer and fall.
“I can hear it almost every summer night when cars are racing along the Blackburn Bypass and I know that there are other areas in our community that also have a lot of these complaints,” Coun. Laura Dudas told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Kristy Cameron this week.
Barrhaven West Coun. David Hill says he wants to establish more community safety zones across the city for speed enforcement cameras, along with looking at increasing fines for speeding and stunt driving.
“Looking at what are some of the root cause issues here and how can we actually deal with this in terms of looking at road design issues, looking at strategies with Ottawa police,” Hill said. “I’m interested in now over the winter to take a look at if there are mechanisms with which we can look at advocating for modernization in the Highway Traffic Act in order to increase some of the sentencing options for extreme speed infractions or for repeat offenders.”
Ottawa police release information daily about drivers stopped for stunt driving.
On Wednesday, the Ottawa Police Service Traffic Unit said that a 19-year-old “rocketing” northbound on Bank Street was observed by officers going 118 km/h in a 60 km/h zone.
“Exceeded any reasonable interpretation of ‘responsible’ driving by a long shot,” police said on X, adding the driver was charged with stunt driving.
On Thursday, officers stopped a vehicle going 98 km/h on Walkley Road in a 50 km/h zone.
Coun. Catherine Kitts says while she is a supporter of photo radar cameras to deter speeding, the city needs to ensure police are staffed to help keep roads safe.
“We need to bolster our traffic control teams so that there’s more proactive enforcement. People have been emboldened by the fact there isn’t as much enforcement out in Ottawa and we’re seeing that,” Kitts said.
Kitts says Ottawa needs to look at other jurisdictions for solutions to speeding.
“I think other municipalities in other parts in the world have even more sophisticated technology where there’s cameras that move around, they’re not in a fixed location, they move around so that you can be caught elsewhere. I think we need to look at these things,” Kitts said.
Dudas agrees more officers on the streets are needed to slow down roads.
“I’m not opposed whatsoever to lobbying the provincial government to change the Highway Traffic Act so that they can increase fines and really penalize those who are breaking the rules,” Dudas said. “I wouldn’t assume that having a static technology in place for a particular road will eventually deter them from doing it whatsoever. I’m open to any ideas, but I think, frankly, I really do think having police out there enforcing it.”
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