Ottawa

Illegal street races revving up in Gatineau, police warn

Police in Gatineau, Que., are warning the public about illegal street races that may be organized through social media.

Race in May organized through social media, police believe

Gatineau police say they're only aware of one organized street race in the city so far this year, but are warning drivers about the possibility that more may be organized. (Ontario Provincial Police)

Police in Gatineau, Que., are warning the public about illegal street races that may be organized through social media.

Officers were made aware of one such street race on boulevard Saint-René Ouest at about 9:30 p.m. on May 11, police said.

When they got there most of the vehicles had dispersed, but they found orange pylons and some vehicles blocking the parking lot of a business.

Police believe the event was organized on social media and started at a business on boulevard de la Cité. The drivers then raced along boulevard Saint-René Ouest until Montée Paiement before returning to the business.

The business owners weren't aware of the race, police said.

No charges were laid.

1 incident so far

So far, officers are only aware of the one incident, according to Const. Renée Anne St-Amant, a Gatineau police spokesperson.

Under Quebec's Highway Safety Code, drivers caught racing can face 12 demerit points, a minimum seven-day licence suspension and have their vehicle seized for the same amount of time. They can also face a $1,000 to $3,000 fine.

St-Amant said drivers can also be charged with dangerous driving or criminal negligence under the Criminal Code.

On the Ottawa side of the river, there haven't been any reports of street racing so far this year, according to Ottawa police.

With files from Radio-Canada's Vanessa Costa Azevedo