Excessive speeders need tougher penalties

Drivers travelling far over the speed limit deserve greater consequences

Several local police reports in recent weeks have highlighted drivers caught travelling at extremely high speeds along local roads.

This wasn’t an extra few kilometres over the speed limit we’re talking about.

On Aug. 6, a motorist was stopped for excessive speeding on Foul Bay Road, clocked at 125 km/h in the 50 km/h zone. On July 30, also on Foul Bay, another motorist was caught driving at 97 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

Both drivers received violation tickets for excessive speed and their vehicles were impounded for seven days.

The fact that these were residential roads underlines the tragedy that could have quite easily occurred. While details as to the time of day weren’t available, we’ll assume it was late at night, based on traffic patterns, but that doesn’t mitigate the potential for a tragic result to this idiocy.

Not to mention the flagrant disregard of traffic laws and common sense.

Regardless of the time of day, a crossing car, cyclist or pedestrian could easily have been caught heading home from the late shift, or starting on their day’s work. None would stand a chance bring struck at that speed.

Or what about one of the municipality’s ubiquitous deer? With road-crossing behaviour that is unpredictable at best, the sudden appearance of one of the creatures would surely send the driver crashing into a telephone pole, parked vehicle or oncoming driver.

Currently, excessive speed fines range from $368 to $483, and add three points to the driver’s license, which can cost additional money depending on the number of accumulated points. On top of that, the driver faces towing and impound charges for the seven-day vehicle impoundment.

So, the costs of driving with excessive speed do add up, but they’re still nowhere near the potential cost to victims.

As the B.C. government plans next month to address the ongoing risks of distracted driving, it seems that widening the scope of their  discussion to include this extremely dangerous behaviour might also be in order.