Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht says he will ask the government for legislation that would allow police to seize the vehicles of chronic, excessive speeders.

“We do have a speeding issue in this province, and I think it’s got to be addressed,” Knecht said during a meeting with the media Monday at the southeast police station.

Knecht said officers in the city are regularly clocking people at 200 km/h on Anthony Henday Drive, or finding drivers going 120 km/h to 140 km/h in 60-km/h zones. Traffic fatalities have almost doubled in Edmonton so far this year, with 25 deaths as of Monday compared with 13 at this time last year. Fourteen of the fatalities are confirmed to have been speed-related.

“If the big story last year was the homicides ... we see speed (and the fatalities) as the big issue this year,” Knecht said.

Knecht said he has had some early discussions with provincial ministers and the department is now putting together a case that will go to government for consideration.

Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia have legislation allowing police to seize speeders’ vehicles. The legislation varies from province to province, but Knecht said the focus in Edmonton would be on “the worst of the worst” drivers, those who are “constantly speeding all the time at dangerous speeds,” and not simply people going a bit over the limit.

Speed was a factor in city’s most recent traffic fatality. A 22-year-old died Saturday on Groat Road after he lost control of his motorcycle and hit a guard rail.

Knecht said he doesn’t know why more drivers are speeding. He said officers are catching people of various ages, on motorcycles and in other vehicles.

He said police think the additional level of enforcement — and the sting of confiscated vehicles ­— would help give the penalty for extreme speeding some weight, and hopefully slow people down.

“You’ll get a lot of folks saying we’re already doing too much enforcement and it’s a form of collecting revenue,” he said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. We aren’t interested in collecting revenue because we don’t benefit from the revenue that much.

“We’re just interested in slowing people down.”


Source: The Edmonton Journal


Last updated on: 2012-09-22 | Link to this post