A 19-year-old man has been charged with street racing after the Mercedes he was driving was clocked doing 308 km/h on an Ontario highway.
“This is the fastest speed that I’ve ever heard of,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt in a video posted to Twitter.
The veteran Ontario Provincial Police officer said he was “pretty much speechless” when he heard how fast the car was going before police managed to pull it over on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) in Burlington, Ont., around 10 p.m. Saturday.
“This could have turned into the most devastating, fatal crash ever.”
The 19-year-old was driving his parents’ car and had another 19-year-old man riding in the passenger seat, according to Schmidt.
The teen’s licence was suspended, the car impounded for seven days and he was also charged with stunt and dangerous driving.
“Unbelievable speeds. We’re talking 191 miles an hour … 85 metres a second, 280 feet per second,” he added, saying the car was moving so fast other drivers would not have been able to react to get out of its way in time.
“It takes time for people to recognize threats and issues on the highway and be able to react to it and avoid a collision. This is absolutely egregious for anyone to be going those kinds of speeds,” said the officer.
Schmidt added the QEW, which links Toronto and the Niagara Peninsula, is not a race track and even if someone thinks they can handle high speeds and be the “coolest guy on the block,” the driver was putting others on the road at risk.
“I’m sure he’s got a little bit of explaining to do to mom and dad this Mother’s Day morning, wondering why [their] car is no longer in the garage.”
Schmidt said when he was first sent a photo of the radar gun showing 308 km/h he thought the officer was joking and had been down at an airport training his laser on planes taking off.
“This is ridiculous. This is unbelievable. This is irresponsible and I certainly hope this person will not be any position to drive a vehicle for a very long time.”
As the officer stopped the vehicle, Schmidt said other drivers were reportedly “honking in delight that this vehicle and this driver was taken off the road.”
With road safety week set to start Tuesday, Schmidt said the speeding incident highlights the kind of behaviour that “can’t continue.”
OPP officers in the Toronto region have charged about 150 people with street racing since May 1, he added.
“You may think you’re in control until that moment you’re out of control,” said Schmidt. “At that point there is nothing you can do and you are going to be out of control and you’re going to be done.”