Off-duty cop nailed in ticket blitz

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/03/20/off-duty-cop-nailed-in-ticket-blitz?channelColor=news

Temps are soaring and so are speedometers.

A 68-minute blitz by Ottawa police Tuesday, their first of the season, nabbed 13 speeders including an off-duty cop on a motorcycle clocked going 202 km/h heading eastbound on Hwy. 174.

Yannik Bernard faces a charge of stunt driving under the Highway Traffic Act.

The fastest driver cops clocked was going 202 km/h, the slowest was travelling at 128 km/h.

“That’s a ridiculous speed in a bike or a car,” Sgt. Mark Gatien said right after the blitz,  not knowing the accused driver was a fellow officer.

“That’s just not acceptable and I haven’t clocked somebody at that speed in 28 years (as a police officer).”

The vehicle has been seized for seven days and the licence will be seized, said Gatien.

He’ll appear in court and faces a minimum $2,000 fine.

After the motorcyclist was pulled over and the tow truck arrived, cops had to call off the crackdown since drivers began slowing down.

“It’s still been a productive day,” said Gatien.

“The weather seems to make people’s foot heavier. It’s a nice day out, but where are you going?”

Using a tripod-mounted laser speed detector, Gatien had three cars, some unmarked, intercepting drivers once he made the call.

Gatien was feeling generous, giving motorists a 25 km/h threshold.

Const. Francis Mask was one of the officers running intercept.

He ticketed at least two drivers: One in a blue Honda going 135 km/h and a silver Jeep clocked at 133 km/h.

“We’re trying to send a message, right? A lot of people are speeding and racing on the 174 and sure enough, it’s one of the problems that we’re trying to alleviate,” said Mask.

The driver of the Honda offered no excuses, Mask said, while the man in the Jeep immediately asked for a break.

Instead, he got a ticket for more than $230.

This year’s blitz is at least four weeks earlier than usual, due to the record-breaking heat.

“I think last year (the first crackdown) was late April,” said Gatien.

Prior to Tuesday, the fastest he’s ever seen anyone go was 182 km/h.

Wednesday is expected to reach 27C.

“Be reasonable with your speeds and don’t get silly just cause it’s warm out,”  said Gatien.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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