Fewer but faster drivers: How COVID-19 is opening roads up to speedsters

Fewer but faster drivers: How COVID-19 is opening roads up to speedsters
WatchWith morning commutes a distant memory, and roadways bare, police are still seeing a surprising spike in speeding.

On some of Greater Victoria’s busiest highways, the virus is leaving an open road.

On one hand, with fewer drivers and fewer cars, it’s making things safer.

Compared to this time last year, Saanich police have seen a 40 per cent decrease in the number of serious collisions.

But just because it’s no longer stop and start, doesn’t mean you should drive faster.

“We have seen an increase in the number of vehicles that are perhaps taking advantage perhaps of the open roads and are speeding excessively, and that means over 40 kilometres past the posted speed limit,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades with Saanich Police.

In fact, excessive speeding incidents in Saanich have increased by a shocking 320 per cent.

And while an open road might be tempting, it can hurt.

Somewhere between a $300-500 fine, three points on your license, and your car impounded for a week.

But it’s not just the pocketbook it could hurt.

“That vehicle going 150 kilometres an hour on the Pat Bay Highway, the road isn’t designed for that speed of travel,” said Cst. Anastasiades.

“And that could result in an accident. We want to limit the hospital to just responding to what’s going on right now.”

So even if there is room to zoom — don’t.

Patrols are out in full force reminding all drivers: a pandemic is no excuse to speed.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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