Need for speed: Stunting charges up in HRM and across Nova Scotia
Most motorists driving 50km/h or more over speed limit are young men
December 11, 2020, 12:05 pm ASTLast Updated: December 11, 2020, 12:05 pm
Police across the province are charging more motorists with stunting, and young men are most commonly the suspects behind the wheel.
Halifax Regional Police say their officers have ticketed 37 motorists for stunting in the first 11 months of this year. That’s more than double 2018’s total of 17, and far beyond the 24 drivers police in Halifax charged through 2019.
Under Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act, driving 50 km/h or more over the speed limit is one of many forms of stunting. The fine for stunting in this province is $2,422.50 and six points are assigned to the driver’s record.
“No matter what the numbers are, we’re always concerned when see people driving at these speeds at this rate,” Const. John MacLeod with Halifax Regional Police said in an interview.
Across the province, Nova Scotia RCMP say they’re catching motorists at excessive speeds on roads between Sydney and Yarmouth.
The Mounties provided stunting numbers for the first 10 months of 2018-2020. This year, RCMP handed out 164 tickets during that time. That’s way up from the 97 in 2019, and above the 137 distributed the year before that.
More than half of the 2020 fines occurred in the four months of July to October.
“There’s a lot of factors,” Cpl. Lisa Croteau with the RCMP said in an interview. Weather and time of year always play a role, but she said there were fewer drivers on the road this year because of the pandemic.
Police have released information to the public on nearly 80 of the 200-plus stunting charges laid across Nova Scotia this year.
Both Halifax police and RCMP said they’re sharing these incidents to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of driving at excessive speeds.
MacLeod said stunting is not only a priority for the department, but it’s a source of frequent public complaints.
“These are the two reasons we’ve started to put these out on a regular basis,” MacLeod said.
The usual suspects
There are two clear trends from these cases: more than 80 per cent of these offences were allegedly committed by drivers 35 or younger, and almost 90 per cent of suspects were men.
Sixteen of the 40 cases shared by RCMP this year involved a driver who was 20 or younger.
In HRM, there were at least 10 incidents in 2020 where a motorist was charged with stunting in a 50km/h zone. Seven of 10 incidents reported by Halifax police allege the driver was 20 or younger.
Need for speed
The levels of speed being reached in rural parts of this province are incredibly dangerous, RCMP said.
In April, Mounties clocked two vehicles racing each other at 232 km/h in a 110 km/h zone. Two men were charged in the incident.
“When someone is going that speed,” Croteau said, “the chances of them stopping in time are not good.”
In HRM, there appear to be some hotspots. More than half of the stunting charges reported in 2020 occurred on Highway 111 in Dartmouth.
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