One in five drivers failed a breath test during a police sting operation against illegal street racing and drink driving this month, with 66 drivers out of 351 testing over the legal limit – at the same time, only 68% of motorists caught speeding were given tickets, with 4,909 speeders caught yet only 3,403 speeding tickets and 31 summonses dished out.
Police say they mounted the crackdown, nicknamed Operation Fossington, “to combat illegal road racing activities and related speeding offences to reduce traffic accidents.” Five people were arrested during the operation and 107 sports cars vehicles were impounded. The Police Public Relations Branch did not answer questions on the disparity between speeding offenders and tickets, nor the high ratio of drivers found to be drunk.
A senior officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said road racers often modify their cars to hide their number plates.
The officer says cars that have such modifications are impounded – and as such, the publicity surrounding the anti-racing operation succeeded in cutting road racing activity during the period.
“Our usual tactic is to frighten them [with impounding cars] so many dare not come out to take that risk,” he says. “These guys always like to make their cars more powerful, beautiful, covert.”
The force has ratcheted up speeding enforcement in 2020, with tickets up 9% in the first nine months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
But drink driving enforcement remains low: only 450 people were caught drink driving in the first nine months of 2020, against 688 people for the whole of 2019 and 950 in 2018.