NEWS RELEASE · 2nd September 2010
Ministry of Public Safety
As many drivers prepare to hit the road for the last long weekend of the summer, the B.C. government is urging drivers to use caution and warning B.C.'s worst speeders that effective Monday, Sept. 20, new impoundment rules come into effect for those travelling 40 km or more over the posted speed limit, Solicitor General Mike de Jong said today.
"Excessive speed is often a death sentence for everyone involved - the driver, their passengers and other innocent road-users," said de Jong. "We want to save lives by going after the kind of driver who drives significantly and dangerously over the posted speed limit, and then get them off the road. By doing so, we hope to make our streets and highways safer for everyone."
About 10,000 tickets are issued by police annually for excessive speeding. As of Sept. 20, a charge of excessive speeding will trigger a mandatory seven-day impoundment for a first offence, a 30-day impoundment for a second, and 60 days for subsequent excessive speeding offences within two years.
Impoundment is in addition to existing penalties, which include:
* A fine of $368 to $483, depending on how excessive the speed.
* Three penalty points on a driver's licence.
* An ICBC driver-risk premium of $320 per year for three years, over and above Autoplan insurance premiums.
"What we know is that speed is the number one contributing factor to fatalities in car accidents in the province," said Cpl. Jamie Chung of Langley RCMP E Division Traffic Services. "The faster you go, the less likely you'll walk away from a crash. Anything we can do to reduce speed in turn reduces the number of needless tragedies on our roads and highways."
Street racers are also affected by the new rules. While street racing differs from excessive speeding because it involves two or more vehicles trying to outdistance each other, under the new impoundment provisions, both are subject to minimum seven-day impoundments.
Previously, street racing had a minimum impoundment period of 48 hours. Additionally, the Motor Vehicle Act now makes careless acts like excessive tailgating, and reckless driving actions like wheelies and doughnuts - subject to a seven-day impoundment.
The strengthened sanctions for excessive speeding are part of changes to the Motor Vehicle Act that include new provisions for impaired driving.