“These speeds are pure insanity.”
That was a message Saskatoon police Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar tweeted recently after a traffic unit member caught a driver going 168 km/h in a 90 km/h zone.
Barbar, who heads up the unit, has been on a Twitter tear, making a number of tweets of excessive speeders in and around Saskatoon.
The most recent was on Aug. 12 when a 16-year-old was caught doing 199 km/h, 89 km/h over the limit, near Radisson.
Barbar is at a loss why the number of excessive speeders is on the rise.
“I think we’re seeing more excessive speeding over the summer than we have in the past and I’m not really sure what to attribute that to,” he told Global News.
“We’ve had really nice weather this year, we haven’t had a lot of rain, so I think that plays a part.”
According to preliminary data from SGI, there were 1,565 collisions in Saskatchewan during 2017 where speed was a factor, resulting in 582 injuries and 11 deaths.
Barbar said a factor in any collision is reaction time, which diminishes at higher speeds.
“When you’re driving through the city at more than twice the speed limit, you’ll have zero reaction time,” Barbar explained.
“The survivability rate for anybody who gets hit at those speeds is virtually nil.”
At risk is not only the driver, but pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles and other vehicles.
“If you’re going twice the speed limit, there’s no way you can react to anything any of these road users do, and the chances of being in a crash are increased proportionately.”
“If you take those factors into account and drive through an urban setting at (excessive) speeds, it certainly is insane.”
So when does excessive speeding become dangerous driving?
It is not related to a number or speed, Barbar said, but instead on circumstances, like other road users or the location.
“A driver on a highway with no one around driving at an excessive speed, you wouldn’t make the leap to dangerous driving,” Barbar stated.
“But someone going through a school zone at 80 or 90 km/h, it would certainly be a charge you would consider.”
Speeding fines went up early this year, with the base amount increasing by $30 and the fine per kilometre over the limit doubling.
READ MORE: Speeding fines increase in Saskatchewan
The driver caught speeding near Radisson on Aug. 12 was given a $1,235 ticket, and will have additional costs.
“Anyone who exceeds the speed limit by more than 50 km/h has their vehicle impounded,” Barbar said.
“They’re then responsible for the tow fee, the storage fee, and for an administrative fee to recover the vehicle at the end of the impound period.
“It really does add up.”
He has a message for excessive speeders.
“Slow down. You’re responsible not only for your own life, but for everyone else’s life out there,” Barbar said.
“It’s just not worth it.”