OPP Tackle Terror Tarmac

September 19 2011

Ontario motorcyclists would be the first to warn anyone that there’s a dearth of challenging roads in the province. And those that actually have turns and a high enough speed limit to require a rider to lean are few and far between. County Road 507 south of Algonquin Provincial Park is not a particularly interesting road, yet it has a reputation for being entertaining. The problem is it takes an excessive amount of speed to turn the mostly mild route into something wild enough to get a motorcyclists adrenaline pumping.

Claiming they were reacting to complaints of excessive speed and unsafe passing by motorcyclists, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) recently conducted what they described as Visibility and Enforcement patrols.

The results of the safety blitz were less than dramatic, especially for a road that apparently overrun by high speed machines and posed a disproportionately high safety risk. The OPP state that they stopped 250 vehicles, and charged seven drivers for various breaches of the Provincial Offences Act.

Not even the highlights of the crackdown were what you could describe as being dramatic. Three men, all between the ages of 23 and 25, were charged with travelling in excess of 50 km/h of the road’s posted 80 km/h speed limit. Only one of the charged was riding a motorcycle – a Yamaha R6 – but all three had their licences suspended and their vehicles impounded for seven days under Ontario’s puritanical Race Motor Vehicle Act (Sec 172(1) HTA), a law that is arguably more of a cash-grab for the province than one that increases the safety of public roads.

A local newspaper reporting on the OPP’s safety blitz decided that those who were charged belong in the same category as those found guilty of DUI offences, and consequently published their names, presumably to add embarrassment to the list of their problems.

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