Police across Ontario target street racers, dangerous drivers in 'Project E.R.A.S.E.'
Police across Ontario launched “Project E.R.A.S.E.” on Friday in an effort to rid roadways of dangerous drivers.
The project, which stands for Eliminate Racing Activity on Streets Everywhere, kicked off on Friday, with just over a week before the holiday Victoria Day weekend.
The annual initiative, which started in 1996, includes 22 police services, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Transportation.
York Regional Police said the message is clear – “If you race, the street is not the place.”
“Everyone works together to keep our roads safe,” Staff Sgt. Sarah Riddell said.
“It’s not just the driving behaviour we’re concerned about, it’s also the unsafe vehicles, the modifications that take place with some of these racers and then the driving behaviour that occurs after.”
Excessive speed is “consistently” to blame for many fatal collisions in York Region and the GTA, police said, and is a complete “disregard for public safety.”
Throughout the project, the YRP helicopter will be working in conjunction with officers on the ground to spot vehicles racing or getting ready to race, as well as vehicles that do not meet safety standards.
Police encourage people who spot videos of street racing or dangerous driving behaviours on social media to report it.
“There are different forms of communication these days and social media is definitely one platform that’s used to communicate these activities. Obviously that reaches a broad spectrum of people that are out there that’s on social media who could easily advise the police,” OPP Supt. Tony Cristilli said.
“It’s no different than making a phone call to Crime Stoppers, that’s an avenue as well, or to simply call us directly when these activities are being discussed on social media.”
As part of the effort, police will also be in attendance at car shows to make sure enthusiasts are following the rules of the road and that their cars do not have illegal modifications.