A Nanaimo RCMP officer waves down a driver during a speed enforcement operation on the old Island Highway near St. George Street in September. (News Bulletin file photo)

Island RCMP want speeding motorists to ‘slow the blazes down’

Nanaimo police raise alarm after seeing 400-per cent rise in excessive speeding tickets last month

Excessive speeding is on the rise, so Nanaimo RCMP’s traffic unit is warning drivers to “slow the blazes down.”

Throughout June, police in Nanaimo issued 27 excessive speeding tickets, representing a 400 per cent increase over the number of tickets issues in June 2019, according to an RCMP press release.

Overall, motor vehicle violations rose 18 per cent with 338 tickets issued last month compared to 277 for June of last year.

Excessive speeding with a rate of speed of 40 to 60 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit draws a fine of $368 and mandatory seven-day vehicle impound. Speeds of more than 60 km/h over the limit draw a fine of $483 and vehicle impound.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said of the 27 vehicles impounded, none were high-end or high-performance cars, just ordinary cars and trucks.

He said the owner of one vehicle that was pulled over sent a note of thanks to the officer who pulled over and impounded her car on the Nanaimo Parkway.

“One of our guys received a thank you letter from a mother whose daughter was riding in a car that was stopped for excessive speeding,” O’Brien said. “A ticket of $368 was issued and the vehicle impounded for seven days. About three weeks later she sent a thank you note that said, ‘thank you because I think you probably saved my daughter’s life.’”

The officer had conversed with the owner by phone at the time of the incident and explained what was happening with the vehicle and where it would be impounded. The thank you note from the woman, whose daughter was a passenger, was accompanied by a $10 Tim Hortons gift card, which O’Brien said was passed along to Nanaimo RCMP’s volunteer program.

The press release noted the recent numbers are alarming as statistics confirm speed continues to be one of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes and fatalities on B.C. roads. Possible reasons for the increased numbers of excessive speeding tickets being issued are that officers are focusing on strategic high-volume areas and with two to three officers working as a team to allow officers to continue enforcement while one or more of the team is writing up tickets.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo senior who was excessively speeding says her vehicle shouldn’t have been impounded

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