January 6, 2008 / 2:27 AM / in 10 years

Tough Canadian street-racing law nabs 85-year-old

TORONTO (Reuters) - A new law meant to help crack down on young Canadian street racers in their souped up cars has nabbed an octogenarian in his Oldsmobile.

The 85-year-old man is one of 2,300 drivers across Ontario to be charged under new legislation, designed to combat “street racing, stunts and contests,” since it came into effect three months ago -- and he’s the oldest.

The man was pulled over after allegedly driving 161 kilometers per hour (100 mph) this week on a main highway north of Toronto, where the speed limit is 100 km/h, Ontario Provincial Police said.

“It really doesn’t matter the age of the person or whether they’re trying to race another car,” OPP Sgt. Cam Woolley said on Friday. “The consequences of the crashes and the laws of physics are always in effect.”

Under the street racing legislation, a person is charged if they are driving 50 km/h more than the posted speed limit.

“Street racing was probably a bad title for it, extreme driving probably would have been better,” Woolley noted.

Under the legislation, the 85-year-old could face a minimum C$2,000 ($2,000) fine. His license has been suspended and his car impounded for a week.

Woolley said that, in the case of the 85-year-old, a police officer driving in a marked car saw the Oldsmobile and tried to get the driver’s attention, honking her horn and waving.

“He flew past her,” said Woolley, adding he was going about 140 km/h at the time -- and then speeded up.

When he finally stopped, the man told the officer he was going to the bank and planned to go shopping, Woolley said.

“When she informed him that his car was being impounded for a week, he said: ‘God damn, you’re not taking my car, are ya?”’ Woolley said, adding the man later apologized for swearing, and the officer drove him to the bank.

Until this week, two 75-year-old men were the oldest to be charged under the law. The youngest is a 16-year-old woman. Most are men in their 20s.

Editing by Rob Wilson

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