Driver clocked at 174 km/h by RCMP in West Prince

A 42-year-old man from western P.E.I. is facing criminal charges of dangerous driving after RCMP measured his speed at 174 km/h in an 80 zone on Tuesday.

Driver was suspended, vehicle not registered or insured, say RCMP

Radar measured the driver's speed at 174 km/h, say RCMP. (CBC)

A 42-year-old man from western P.E.I. is facing criminal charges of dangerous driving after RCMP measured his speed at 174 km/h in an 80 zone on Tuesday.

The vehicle, a Ford Taurus, was spotted while police were carrying out a traffic patrol in West Prince. It car was headed north on Route 152, about four kilometres south of Route 2 in Woodvale, south of Tignish.

"In 37 years of service this is the fastest speed that I've become personally aware of," said RCMP Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie.

RCMP would not have given chase at that speed, says Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie. (Randy McAndrew/CBC News)

"It's shocking to get that kind of a speed on a secondary road. We're very fortunate that nobody was hurt."

The RCMP officer called for backup in case the driver tried to flee, but Baillie said the driver slowed immediately and pulled into a driveway when the RCMP cruiser turned its overhead lights on.

"At this kind of speed we're not going to chase a vehicle if the individual doesn't slow down, it's just not worth putting everybody involved at risk," he said.

The driver's licence had been previously suspended, the car was not registered and he had no insurance, Baillie said, and he also faces charges relating to those issues.

'Not capable of sustaining high-speed driving'

Baillie, who previously worked as an traffic accident analyst for the RCMP, said it is not unusual for cars to be able to reach these speeds and it's fortunate most people don't try.

"Our roads aren't built for them," he said.

"Often the tires the cars are equipped with are not capable of sustaining high-speed driving for any period of time."

It would take about 200 metres to stop, Baillie noted, making it difficult for the driver to respond to a car pulling out of a driveway or an animal jumping into the road.

By comparison, stopping when travelling at the 80-km speed limit would take about 50 metres.

RCMP issued eight other speeding tickets in West Prince that day.

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About the Author

Kevin Yarr

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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