Looking for a list of stupid, dangerous people?
Look no further than the Twitter feed of OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.
Schmidt has been spending his Mondays naming and shaming the people charged by the OPP for various idiocies behind the wheel: impaired driving, speeding, street racing, driving with a suspended licence, driving with open liquor and marijuana at hand, failing to stop after an accident, dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, driving without a number plate, driving without a brain.
Over the last seven days, Ontario Provincial Police officers have laid 47 impaired and dangerous driving charges and 38 street racing charges in the GTA alone.
Schmidt makes his list weekly, because it gets overwhelming if he doesn’t.
How can there be so many?
“That’s par for the course,” Schmidt tells us over phone.
“Sometimes it’s more.”
And those are just the GTA numbers.
“Across the province, there will be many more charges laid by the OPP for aggressive driving, impaired driving, dangerous driving.”
How do the police catch as many as they do?
“The more you look, the more you find,” says Schmidt. “As for street racing, one officer can get 10 people during a shift, if they set up in a local area.”
Reminder: As soon as you’re stopped doing 50 km/h or more over the limit, that’s street racing.
You’ll get a seven-day licence suspension, a seven-day vehicle impound (you pay towing and impound charges, chump) and if you’re convicted for breaking the street racing laws you’re facing a ticket of between $2,000 and $10,000.
You may also go to jail, and you could lose your licence for up to two years.
As for impaired driving, the police have a whole tool kit at their disposal to check if you’re using alcohol, drugs, or both.
If you can’t keep it together during standard field sobriety tests (tests that pass muster with medical and judicial experts, FYI) the police can put you in front of a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE); that person will put you through a battery of physical and mental tests. You may be required to give a blood sample.
The DRE will determine whether you’re impaired on drugs, and what’s more, which drug(s) is involved.
Schmidt says he is frustrated and disappointed by the large numbers of driving arrests. “It is far higher than it should be.”
Canada Day is coming up and Schmidt wants people to know that the highways will be well policed.
“Our specific focus this weekend will be aggressive driving.”
As always, the police will be looking for impaired or distracted drivers, for speeders and for people without seatbelts, but they’ll be especially hunting the people driving like maniacs — tailgating, making unsafe lane changes and racing along the roads.
“People are in a big hurry to get to the cottage, ripping it up even on local streets,” says Schmidt.
“And people are dying.”
47 #ImpairedDriving and Dangerous driving charges and 38 #StreetRacing charges laid by the #OPP in the #GTA in the past 7 days.— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) June 24, 2019
Maurice PILON – 52 – Cambridge ON - #ImpairedDriving – 80 plus
Jesse EMOND – 19 – St. Catharines ON – Dangerous operation #OPPStats pic.twitter.com/hnaNcoFBHt
MEANWHILE, HERE IN TORONTO
Toronto Police have announced new summer safety traffic initiatives in support of the city’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan.
As of July, Vision Zero goes with zero tolerance on our city streets for impaired or distracted driving, aggressive driving and speeding, according to Traffic Services’ Sergeant Brett Moore, who spoke at a press conference Monday.
Initiatives will be put in place with extra officers who will police key areas of the city.
Impaired driving will be a particular focus on the weekends.
Last year, 66 people were killed on city streets, and 54 of them were vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, kids and the elderly.
That trend has continued into 2019. In the first six months of 2019, police have arrested more than 500 people for impaired driving — including the man who killed a pedestrian in Regent Park last Thursday.
Said Moore in a statement, “Research clearly shows that drivers who speed, drive distracted, drive aggressively or drive impaired cause collisions that injure people.”
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019