More charges possible in wake of luxury car takedown on Hwy. 400
Published Monday, April 3, 2017 3:17PM EDT Last Updated Monday, April 3, 2017 6:33PM EDT
More charges could be laid in the wake of a police takedown that saw 12 luxury cars stopped on Highway 400 for stunt driving.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says officers are still speaking with witnesses and reviewing dash cam video that allegedly shows the cars aggressively speeding on the highway.
“We’re relying on the eyewitnesses that saw this on the highways, including video camera and dash cam video that people have brought forward.”
Police say they received reports of vehicles, including Lamborghinis and Porsches, travelling at 150 km/h and weaving through traffic on Highway 400 and 407 on Sunday afternoon.
“Multiple calls from multiple witnesses calling in the same description of luxury vehicles racing and driving aggressively,” Schmidt says.
Rather than doing a full traffic stop on the 400, the OPP decided to do a rolling block and funnel the vehicles into the ONroute in Barrie. They ended up stopping more than 20 vehicles.
“The witnesses to the offences on the highway assisted us in identifying the vehicles involved.”
In total, 12 people were charged with stunt driving. Their licences were suspended and their cars impounded.
The Highway Traffic Offence can be laid for more than just speeding. Stunt driving can also include multiple lane changes while in close proximity to other vehicles, tailgating and driving on the shoulder.
Criminal charges could still be laid, and Schmidt says more people could also be charged. He says the OPP will not tolerate aggressive driving.
“Aggressive driving is the number one killer on provincial highways. We’ve had 16 people die on provincial roads already this year because of speeding or aggressive driving. If you want to have fun, if you want to have some excitement with your vehicle, take it to a track.”
The 12 drivers were part of an extreme car enthusiast club called “North Face Rally.” A lawyer for the group suggested the claims about dangerous driving are overblown and that his clients were treated “aggressively” by police.
“They did get intercepted at the wrong place at the wrong time,” lawyer Amedeo DiCarlo told CP24. “I think what had happened is that some witnesses had called in about cars driving fast. I mean if you’re driving on the 400 doing 80 kilometres an hour and somebody passes by doing 110 and you see it’s a Lamborghini or Ferrari, right away ‘oh that guy’s speeding’ and you know they claim those as witnesses. Mind you there are no witnesses. Police are asking for witnesses.”
But Schmidt says they would have taken the same steps if it involved 12 compact cars.
“If it’s your high-end car, a minivan or a pickup truck, it doesn’t matter. Stunt driving is stunt driving.”
The case is expected back in court in June.
With files from CTV Toronto.