Saanich police snapped a photo of a Totem Towing truck arriving to pick up the vehicle of a driver stopped for speeding on May 8. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)

Crackdown on Greater Victoria speeders starts to fill towing lot

Lot storing more seven-day impounds than normal, Totem Towing owner says

Totem Towing reports a spike in seven-day impounds coming onto its lot as police crack down on speeding.

While not every week-long vehicle impound can be attributed to speeding, Dan Bird, owner of Totem Towing, feels there’s a connection to the recent spike in drivers violating speed limits in Greater Victoria.

Saanich police have noticed a “trend in excessive speeding” – driving more than 40 km/h over the posted speed limit – and are responding, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for Saanich Police.

In Saanich alone, police caught nearly 40 drivers speeding between March and the first week of May, 14 more speeders were stopped. Those caught for excessive speeding have their vehicle impounded for a week, receive hefty tickets, three penalty points on their licence and must pay the fees for towing and storing their vehicle at the impound lot, Anastasiades explained.

On May 11, the Totem Towing lot on Tennyson Avenue was at 60 per cent capacity with nearly 70 vehicles in the lot, about 20 of which were week-long impounds. While there has been a spike in speeders and therefore impounded vehicles, Bird said the lot won’t reach capacity any time soon.

“There’s more than normal but it’s not filling us up,” he said, noting the lot can store more than 100 vehicles and that the constant rotation means new spaces are always opening up.

Bird added that towing and roadside assistance sales were down nearly a quarter during the COVID-19 pandemic but numbers are almost back up to the normal range with the spike in speeders.

While he’d prefer to see fewer people violating road rules, Bird says “as long as there are speeders, we will be here to help police.”


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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