ALBERTA

Alberta Speeders Could Have Cars Seized, Licences Suspended

06/17/2013 04:56 EDT | Updated 06/17/2013 07:21 EDT
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Drivers zooming at extreme speeds in Alberta may have their car seized if police chiefs have their way.

Police chiefs in Alberta have voted in favour of a resolution that would allow officers to seize vehicles of drivers caught going more than 50 kilometres per hour over the speed limit.

It would also give officers the authority to suspend drivers' licences — both of which would last one week.

Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht says there's too many people being killed on the highways and it's due to people driving 160-170 km/h and even 200 km/h.

The chiefs don't want it to be a mandatory seizure; they want police to have the ability to use their discretion when seizing the vehicle.

Knecht says that would accommodate circumstances such as a woman in labour with a complication.

"We just don't want to see people killed," said Knecht, who is head of the Alberta Chiefs of Police.

The vote was not unanimous because in some rural areas, worries about access to tow trucks is an issue.

The chiefs approved a similar motion in 2009, but the province turned it down.

At the time the chiefs wrote that police were continually ticketing people for excessive speeding and putting public safety in danger.

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Edmonton's Worst Drivers

Not much seems to have changed, as Solicitor General Jonathan Denis said the government is not interested and are not considering it at the time, the Edmonton Journal reports.

According to the latest Operation 24 Hours, an initiative by Edmonton police to improve traffic safety, out of 3,074 tickets issued last Thursday and Friday, 2,810 were for speeding.

"No matter how often the Edmonton Police Service conducts its Operation 24 Hours speed enforcement, our members appear to have little problem ticketing speeding motorists," Edmonton Police said in a press release.

Knecht previously said British Columbia and Ontario both have similar laws that have cut down on excessive speeding.

Immediately taking away vehicles from people in such cases would do more to deter bad drivers than a speeding ticket, he added.

With files from The Canadian Press