Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal drag racing spot

Ten cars were impounded and dozens of tickets given out after Nanaimo RCMP cracked down on an illegal drag racing and stunting spot.

Drag racers doing burnouts and stunts at Jack Point near B.C. Ferries’ Duke Point terminal caught the attention of officers with Nanaimo RCMP’s traffic unit on Sunday. About 100 people were in the area when police arrived.

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Officers closed the roadway for four hours as they impounded 10 vehicles, gave 30 tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act and ordered 11 vehicle inspections to drivers whose cars were deemed unsafe for the road, said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien. No criminal charges were laid.

Stunting and drag racing on roadways is a dangerous practice and will not be allowed or tolerated by the Nanaimo RCMP, O’Brien said.

A video taken by police shows a driver spinning his tires on the road to create a plume of smoke. Police say the action destroys the roadway and could put the public or the driver at risk. That driver was among the 10 who had their vehicles impounded for seven days.

People have been using the area for drag racing for years, O’Brien said. The noise of screening tires and revving engines has led to dozens of complaints from workers in the industrial area and as far away as Gabriola Island.

City of Nanaimo officials have spent countless hours and dollars installing traffic calming measures with the purpose of dissuading these activities,O’Brien said, adding that various enforcement efforts to stop the drag racing have previously been unsuccessful.

The investigation continues and officers expect drag racers to find another location to do stunts. Anyone with information on the location of the illegal activity is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

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