Saturday, July 18, 2009

4 Times Over the Speed Limit

Pair charged in 200 km/h race

Two young men face street-racing charges after they were nabbed driving side by side at an unbelievably reckless 150 km/h over the posted speed limit on a Rexdale street, police say.

The pair of leadfoots were heading into the city from Woodbridge around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, heading south on Martin Grove Rd. past Steeles Ave. W., when they were clocked at an astonishing 200 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, Toronto Police said.

"When I heard about this my eyes nearly popped out of my head," Traffic Services Sgt. Tim Burrows said yesterday. "It's four times the posted speed limit and they were coming into a residential area."

The veteran cop, who thought he had seen it all when it came to speeders, said it was a good thing the two drivers were stopped because they could have caused untold carnage travelling at such speeds.

He said Const. Sue Fisher, of 23 Division's Traffic Unit, was stopped in an unmarked cruiser in the northbound lanes of Martin Grove, just south of Steeles, when she spotted the two cars flying toward her.

The quick-thinking officer, whose vehicle was equipped with mobile radar, activated it and got a reading of 200 km/h as the new red Mini Cooper and the purple Honda Prelude SR-V whizzed by.

"They didn't even realize they were passing a police car," Burrows said.

Fisher immediately spun her unmarked car around to give chase and caught up to the speedsters soon after, he said. One of the drivers was stopped at a red light and the other, who had apparently made it through the intersection before the light changed, pulled a U-turn and drove back north on Martin Grove.

"The two cars basically came right to her," Burrows said. "It was a combination of good police work and good luck."

The drivers, 20 and 21, said they weren't racing and denied knowing each other.

"One of them is from the Netherlands and acted surprised to learn he was not allowed to drive like that in Ontario," Burrows said.

Holland actually has speed limits similar to Ontario and even highways there have a maximum of 120 km/h.

Burrows said Traffic Services was called in to investigate because of the excessive speed involved.

He shudders to think what might have happened to other motorists and any pedestrians had either of the drivers been forced to make a sudden manoeuvre at 200 km/h.

Under ideal conditions, with full braking, Burrows said reconstructionists estimate it takes more than two football fields and about 71/2 seconds to bring a car to a stop.

"After five seconds of 100% braking, you would still be going about 70 km/h," he explained. "And unless you're using high-performance tires, your tires would most likely explode if you slammed on your brakes at that speed.

"At the very least, the tires would most likely keep spinning even though the rims are stopped."

The two drivers, whose names were not released, have had their licences suspended for seven days.

"They also both had to call their older brothers and explain their cars were being impounded," Burrows said, adding neither actually owns the car they were driving.


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