By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - Nova Scotia drivers have crossed the halfway mark when it comes to stunting charges compared to last year, with the highest coming in at 202 kilometres per hour.
As of Monday, 26 people were charged with vehicle stunting in RCMP jurisdictions, said spokesman Sgt. Alain LeBlanc. He said 42 were charged in 2012.
“We know that speed is one of the main … factors in serious-injury collisions and/or fatal collisions,” said LeBlanc. “That’s fact.”
Referencing the province’s department of justice figures, LeBlanc said stunting has been on the rise with 14 charges laid in 2010, and 28 in 2011.
However, LeBlanc said the 50 per cent jump last year could be due to factors like increased traffic, and not necessarily more people driving at dangerous speeds.
Stunting covers drivers going more than 50 km/h than the posted speed limit. It can carry a maximum fine of $2,400, and the driver loses their licence for seven days and their vehicle is impounded for at least the same length of time.
This year has seen a few concerning incidents of people driving two or three times the speed limit in residential areas, LeBlanc said.
A few that have stood out include vehicles caught travelling 182 km/h in a 100 zone, 147 km/h in an 80 zone, and 118 km/h in a 60 area.
“That is absolutely ridiculous,” LeBlanc said. “When you have a posted speed-limit of 60 kilometres per hour, there’s a reason for that.”
LeBlanc said another car going 135 kilometres in a 50 zone on Pictou Road in the Bible Hill area was “probably the worst” this year because both the driver and resident could be hurt in such a populated area.
“They’re really putting everyone at risk, if they lose control of that vehicle you can only imagine the tragic consequences of that crash,” he said.
One of the fastest incidents this year occurred in April, when a 27-year-old Cumberland County man was charged with stunting and impaired driving after RCMP spotted his BMW going 202 km/h on Highway 104 near Springhill.
This past weekend, two drivers brought the total number up to 26. RCMP saw a 22-year-old and 19-year-old man were driving on Highway 104 at 156 km/h and 158 km/h respectively. The posted speed limit was 100 km/h.