Via the Globe & Mail-
The government has the power to seize and destroy cars that have been adapted for street racing, and can do so before a race takes place or any charges are laid, Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant said Wednesday.In the last couple of weeks there have been two high speed accidents in the Toronto region that have caused deaths. The most recent was a few days ago, when a Grand Am and a Mustang on their way up to cottage country, were swerving in and out of traffic at high speed, causing a tractor trailer to fishtail and subesequently crash, killing the driver almost immediately.
Car junkies who pour thousands of dollars into their vehicles to make them as fast as possible are wasting their money, Mr. Bryant said.
He warned potential racers that all it takes is a tip from police to seize and destroy their cars.
“If we can establish someone has parts and they're juicing up their car — obviously for the purpose of street racing — then we can seize those vehicles,” Mr. Bryant said.
Yes, it's tragic.
Yes, the idiot drivers should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law (which is laughably lenient).
No, it's the not the fault of street racers.
There's a very real difference between street racing and idiotic driving. Street racers are, well, racing. And idiotic drivers, well, are driving idiotically.
My real beef here is that the government of Ontario is apparently taking a page from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and interpreting fictitious events as being plausible in the real world. No Mr. Bryant, this is not 'Minority Report'- you can't predict who will be street racing their vehicles, who will be making their vehicles more powerful just for kicks, and who will be actually taking their vehicles to the track. Using this line of reasoning, anyone who bodybuilds for the purposes of being stronger should theoretically be pre-arrested for assault. And anyone who buys a legal gun for the range should theoretically be pre-arrested for murder. And anyone who buys a DVD burner should be pre-arrested for piracy. And anyone who takes a penny from the 'take a penny leave a penny jar' should be pre-arrested for armed robbery.
Another issue with what Mr. Bryant has said is exactly what constitutes a street racing vehicle? Is the idiot down the street with the fart can muffler and racing decals looking to street race his Honda Civic? Or is it the guy who just bought an AMG CLS with about 600 HP? Or the kids who just had their parents buy them a WRX STi for their birthday? As seen from the accident a few days ago, you don't need a performance car OR mods to street race- the Grand Am being a prime example.
Not that I'm surprised at their actions. With a provincial election coming soon, and the Toronto media in an uproar over these 'idiot' kids speeding everywhere around the city (funny, because I drive everyday and I don't see them), the easy decision for a government is to overreact. And they satisfied the criteria with this move.
Unfortunately, the real issue here, and the overlooked issue here, is that police forces, not just in Toronto, but around North America, are not interested in having safe roads for the most part- they're interested in ticket revenue and catching speeders. And until that changes, we're going to continue to see such accidents.