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Ottawa police concerned by increased stunt driving during COVID-19 pandemic

Ottawa police say they have seen a concerning uptick in stunt driving over the last week. Beatrice Britneff / Global News

Ottawa police say they are concerned over the number of stunt driving incidents they’ve responded to over the last week during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday alone, police seized eight vehicles driven at least 50 km/h over the speed limit.

One of those vehicles was a motorcycle the driver was using to do “wheelies.”

READ MORE: Retirement home resident among 75 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ottawa: public health

Two other drivers were speeding in a construction zone, police say. Both received fines and demerit points.

Over the last week, police have seized 15 total vehicles for stunt driving offences.

“Practicing physical distancing during the pandemic does not stop us from enforcing the law with drivers who fail to respect the rules of the road. We are in this together, please drive carefully,” said traffic unit Staff Sgt. Marc-Andre Sheehy.

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Ottawa police say it’s possible that emptier streets — caused by self-isolation and work-from-home measures due to the pandemic — could be contributing to the increase in stunt driving incidents, but they couldn’t be sure.

The increase, nevertheless, is alarming, an Ottawa police spokesperson said.

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