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Coronavirus: Toronto has seen a 200 per cent jump in stunt driving, officials say

Officers from Toronto police's Vision Zero Enforcement Team will be rotating in daily shifts patrolling for speeding motorists starting this week, officials say.
Officers from Toronto police's Vision Zero Enforcement Team will be rotating in daily shifts patrolling for speeding motorists starting this week, officials say. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Toronto has seen a 200 per cent increase in stunt driving as people are being told to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic, City officials say.

In a news release Wednesday, officials said as traffic volumes have dropped, from March 15 to 31, there was a 35 per cent increase in speeding tickets and an almost 200 per cent jump in stunt driving incidents compared to the same time last year.

“Taking advantage of low traffic volumes by speeding or stunt driving is not only illegal but threatens the lives of those around you and places an unnecessary pressure on our health-care system,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

READ MORE: Crimes and policing change amid coronavirus pandemic, Ontario forces say

In response to the trend, officers from Toronto police’s Vision Zero Enforcement Team will be rotating in daily shifts, patrolling for speeding motorists.

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“I continue to encourage all residents to stay home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” Tory said.

Various trends have been observed by police forces amid the pandemic.

A spokesperson for York Regional Police previously said they have seen an increase in stunt driving and even caught one driver going 148 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

The spokesperson said they’ve also observed an increase in commercial break-and-enters, as well as domestic violence.

READ MORE: Driver caught going 205 km/h in 40 km/h community safety zone near Innisfil, police say

In Simcoe on April 2, police reported stopping a driver going 205 km/h in a 40 km/h zone.

Toronto police previously said crimes were down across the board, with the exception of homicides, which has remained stable, and domestic violence, which has seen a small uptick.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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