There’s no outrunning a police helicopter, says York Regional Police Const. Ivan Roach.
The air support officer spoke out on Friday as the force launched its annual crackdown on street-racing and stunt-driving.
The campaign — dubbed Project ERASE (Eliminate Racing Activity on Streets Everywhere) — will see York police target illegal street racers.
The effort will include a police helicopter, acting as eyes in the sky for officers on the ground.
While in the air sitting by a helicopter pilot, Roach looks for illegal activity such as racers setting up — and relays it to officers on the ground.
He can usually spot racers setting up from “kilometres away.” Cameras on the helicopter help provide video evidence later of their activities.
“I don’t know why you would bother,” Roach said.
“We can come up and sneak up on people. They’re not going to see us coming and I can see them way off in the distance,” he said.
Since beginning work as an officer in 1999, Roach has witnessed his fair share of deadly collisions.
“I’ve seen some horrendous crashes and some of them have been the result of street-racing,” he said. “I’ve seen bystanders get hit by a street-racer. I’ve seen innocent bystander cars cut in half. I’ve watched young men die as a result of street-racing.”
So far this year, the OPP has laid almost 400 charges related to street-racing, said Insp. Mark Pritchard.
“Those are 400 charges that are far too many,” he said. “It’s totally preventable, people are driving in this manner for their own entertainment and not only risking their lives but your lives and the lives of our families.”
In the past two years, almost 150 people have lost their lives on OPP-patrolled highways in “either aggressive or speed-related” collisions, Pritchard added.
Please share this