Police hope stiffer new penalties put brakes on excessive speeding

·2 min read
RCMP Const. Jamie Parsons says stiffer penalties, education and larger police presence on the roads are all factors in helping to deter speeding. (CBC - image credit)
RCMP Const. Jamie Parsons says stiffer penalties, education and larger police presence on the roads are all factors in helping to deter speeding. (CBC - image credit)

Drivers on P.E.I. are facing stiffer penalties for excessive speeding after changes to the Highway Traffic Act came into effect last week.

Drivers caught going between 50-59 km/h over the speed limit will be fined $8 per km/h over the limit, their vehicle will be impounded for seven days and they will be charged six demerit points.

The penalties and fines increase the further the vehicle is over the speed limit.

Drivers clocked between 60-79 km/h over the speed limit will be fined $10 per km/h over the limit, their vehicle will be impounded for seven days and they will be charged nine demerit points.

Vehicle impounded 30 days

Drivers going 80 km/h or more over the speed limit will be fined $25 per km/h over the limit, their vehicle will be impounded for 30 days and they will be charged 12 demerit points.

Twelve demerit points can result in a three-month driving suspension.

As well, anyone caught going more than double the speed limit — for example, 122 km/h in a 60 km/h zone — will have their vehicle impounded for 30 days. They will also face the applicable fine based on how many km/h over the limit they were going.

Previously, excess speeding led to fines and demerit points, but the vehicles were impounded for only 24 hours, and there weren't stiffer penalties for going 80 km/h or more over the limit.

The fines are in addition to the standard $50 that comes with all speeding infractions, which increases to $100 in construction and school zones.

Speeders fined on weekend

RCMP Const. Jamie Parsons said speeding is becoming too common on P.E.I. On Friday, a 22-year-old man was clocked going 163 km/h on Main Street in Cornwall, which is a 60 km/h zone. He was issued a fine of $1,160 and had his vehicle impounded for 30 days.

On Saturday, a man was stopped by Kensington police going 153 km/h.

"It's on a weekly basis that we're coming across these vehicles that are travelling 160 to 180 km/h on our Island highways," Parsons said.

He said there are generally three factors that deter drivers from speeding: increased police presence on highways, education and stiffer penalties.

"These new fines and penalties certainly fall into stricter enforcement. They certainly are a deterrent — for anyone losing their vehicle for seven days or 30 days, that certainly should be a deterrent which we hope moving forward will help with that."

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