23 vehicles impounded for ‘excessive’ speeding on Malahat

Twenty-three motorists are heading into the long weekend without their vehicles after they were nabbed speeding on the Malahat on Thursday — including one novice motorcyclist driving 152 kilometres an hour.

The speed sting was conducted by the Integrated Road Safety Unit starting at 5:30 a.m.

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In all, the police impounded 23 vehicles for excessive speed, suspended one motorist for driving under the influence of a drug, issued 49 speeding tickets, and wrote 11 tickets for other offences.

“I’m not surprised, more disappointed that people weren’t driving appropriately,” said Const. Andy Dunstan, noting that speeding is the No. 1 cause of fatalities in B.C.

An average of 12 people are killed in speed-related crashes every year on Vancouver Island.

In a one-hour period, 10 motorists handed over their keys and were ticketed $368 to $483, excluding towing fees and other costs, for excessive speeding — travelling at least 40 km/h over the posted limit of 80 km/h.

Police were set up just south of Aspen Road, an area where police said some motorists speed to overtake other vehicles before hitting a 70 km/h zone.

“We were stopping people going 125 and 135 kilometres per hour plus, coming into that 70-kilometre zone,” Dunstan said.

Officers later set up north of the turn-off for Shawnigan Lake Road.

By that time, there was a high volume of traffic, including big trucks, on the road, slowing traffic. There were also posts on social media about the earlier speed trap and other vehicles flashing their lights to warn oncoming motorists of the speed trap ahead — and still “people were coming in at 140 and 150 kilometres per hour,” Dunstan said.

An additional 13 vehicles were impounded for excessive speeding, including two motorcycles. One car pulled over for excessive speeding had child in the front seat.

“This is a major intersection on this part of the highway. Vehicles — semi-trailers and dump trucks carrying pup trailers — are turning across other vehicles that are travelling in excess of 140 kilometres per hour. How does that make any sense?” he said.

One of two motorcyclists pulled over for excessive speeding was said by police to be driving 152 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.

The man said he thought the speed limit was low for a major highway. He was running late and had been headed to Victoria to go to school and work. He is a designated novice motorcyclist “who had no valid insurance,” police said.

Colleen Woodger, road co-ordinator for Insurance Corp. of B.C., said posted speed limits are for days when the roads are dry and visibility is good.

“When you’re seeing high-risk behaviours [including speeding] like we’re seeing today, that increases your risks significantly for a crash,” Woodger said. “It’s pretty shocking behaviour today, and we’re really glad we’re able to connect with those drivers and remind them of that.”

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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