OPP: U.S. driver caught going 142 km/h in Ont., claims they didn't realize speed limits aren't in miles
The person was charged with stunt driving, leading to their vehicle being impounded for 14 days and their license to be suspended for 30 days.
A driver from New York, who was caught going nearly double the speed limit in Ontario, allegedly told the police they "didn't realize" the speed signs were not in miles per hour.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Const. Kevin Westhead says the driver was pulled over on Highway 420 shortly after passing through the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls on Monday afternoon.
Although the posted speed limit in the area is 80 km/h, the 52-year-old driver was allegedly caught going 142 km/h, police said.
According to a tweet by the OPP Highway Safety Division, the person driving was going 62 km/h over the speed limit.
A driver from #NewYork discovered too late that they should have paid closer attention to the speed signs as they drove on #Hwy420 this afternoon, doing 62km/hr over the speed limit. Charged #Stunt. ^kw#14dayimpound #30DaySuspension pic.twitter.com/yEqYxmN0eB
— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) March 19, 2023
“They didn’t realize it wasn’t in miles,” Westhead said to Yahoo Canada. “If you convert 142 kilometres per hour into miles, that’s still 90 miles an hour.”
Westhead also said there was a 10-year-old child in the car at the time.
"There's really no excuse for that speed," Westhead added.
According to OPP media relations officer Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, it is the responsibility of the driver to eventually go back after 30 days and retrieve the vehicle.
"Well, actually someone has to go back in 14 days to retrieve the vehicle because the driver will still have a suspended license for 30 days," said Schmidt to Yahoo Canada.
"Whether it's their car or a rental car, it's their own obligation to retrieve the car."
Since Ontario has conviction agreements with New York, it is easy for the police to pull up license records and previous indictments or charges.
"Ontario has conviction exchange agreements with all other Canadian jurisdictions, as well as the states of New York and Michigan," said the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Ontario in an email to Yahoo News Canada.
"If a driver from these jurisdictions receives a conviction in Ontario, which is transferable between jurisdictions, the penalties may be carried over to their home jurisdiction," MTO added.
MTO also said that if an out-of-province driver's license is suspended in Ontario, an Ontario driver record is created for them and their vehicle is impounded.
"This will suspend their ability to operate a vehicle in Ontario," MTO said.
When it comes to licenses, Schmidt says they're easy to check since the police in the provinces and states share a common database with each other.
"We can check to see if they're valid... we can also check through a database to make sure truck licenses, etc. are valid and legitimate," Schmidt said.
Excuse or honest mistake? Twitter responds
According to a user on Twitter, there's a sign on Highway 420 that shows the speed limit conversion to metric for drivers passing by.
"The U.S. cars I owned had both mph & km/h, but U.S. drivers don't even need that, just keep it to 60 if the limit is 100," she said.
When you cross the Peace Bridge (and other 🇺🇸-🇨🇦 border crossings) into Ontario, there's a big highway sign showing the conversion to metric, similar to this one.
The US cars I owned had both mph & km/h, but US drivers don't even need that, just keep it to 60 mph if limit is 100 pic.twitter.com/tDrX7ZSPhr
— Lori Sirianni (@4AnimalLife) March 20, 2023
… “I didn’t notice other vehicles were slower, when I was passing, weaving in and out of traffic, so I wouldn’t rear end them.”
— @braun_janette (@braunjanette1) March 20, 2023
That’s why you always pay attention to your speed internationally! I’ve driven in the USA hundreds of times over 15yrs and never had a bad thing happen because you must pay attention to the signs and respect their laws
— Alexander (Xandor27) (@Xandor27) March 20, 2023