Burnouts getting ‘worse instead of better’

Pender Harbour

John Gleeson / Staff Writer
June 26, 2014 01:11 PM

The problem with drivers performing burnouts, wheelies and doughnuts in the Pender Harbour area is “getting worse instead of better,” Sunshine Coast RCMP Staff Sgt. Herb Berdahl said Monday, June 23.

“There is more of it, and it seems to be making its way down the Coast, down towards the Sechelt end,” Berdahl told the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) policing committee.

The issue was raised by SCRD board chair Garry Nohr, who predicted it was a matter of time before the driver “either kills himself or somebody else.”

Berdahl said he agreed.

“We are going to be going to a funeral, likely here on the Sunshine Coast,” he said. “It’s disconcerting, because you talk to people up there and they say it’s a rite of passage — and I don’t understand that, quite frankly.”

The illegal practice is “extremely dangerous,” he said. “The road is very, very narrow and very, very windy. I don’t know how the heck you could feel comfortable doing the extent of those doughnuts and not risk being T-boned from somebody coming around a corner.”

Berdahl said the ongoing investigation is part of detachment’s current policing strategy, “because we never really got it sorted out last year,” and will be one of the dedicated tasks for additional staff during weekends in the summer.

“Last year we had a little more success in identifying individuals. This year we’ve had a couple, but it seems to be every time you talk to one, someone else steps up.”

Investigators have identified some suspicious vehicles, but what’s needed, Berdahl said, is information from the public.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t had any public come forward to give us a hand on this yet, but we’re hopeful.”

Egmont/Pender Harbour director Frank Mauro echoed the concerns, saying it was “a serious situation and it has been getting worse.”

Anyone caught “stunting” can face heavy fines, automatic driving prohibition and vehicle impoundment. In serious cases, a driver could face criminal charges and possible jail time.

The detachment announced last month that Sunshine Coast Traffic Services would have zero tolerance for the practice and had impounded one offender’s vehicle.

© Coast Reporter

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