Saanich police respond to criticism after speeding centenarian let off with a warning

Though some comments supported the officer's judgement, many people questioned why a ticket wasn't given

Saanich police last week took the unusual step of defending one of its officers, following a flood of criticisms received about the story of a 100-year-old driver who wasn’t fined even though he had been caught speeding.

The Saanich News first ran the story in our Friday, March 9 edition. The traffic safety officer was conducting speed enforcement on Cordova Bay Road March 6.

An incoming vehicle was clocked travelling 50 km/h in a school zone. When the car was pulled over, the officer found that the driver was a centenarian with a spotless driving record.

He was let off with a warning.

The story was picked up by other news outlets across Canada, including the Toronto Star.

Sgt. Dean Jantzen said the incident garnered a lot more public attention than expected.

Police received comments in support of the officer, but they also heard from many people who questioned why a ticket wasn’t given, even though the senior was clocked speeding in a school zone.

“We are always, always mindful that each and every officer on the streets has discretionary authority in situations such as that,” Jantzen said. “It’s difficult to armchair quarterback that when you’re not there in the moment.”

The News received a number of letters and comments about the story.

“Being a grandfather, I expect drivers to respect the speed limit within my granddaughter’s school zone. Equally, I expect those drivers that exceed the limit … to be severely reprimanded, charged and fined,” wrote one Uxbridge, Ont. resident, who read about the incident in the Star.

The police department’s response, posted on its website, stated that the officer has to “weigh the totality of the circumstances and establish an effective means of correcting or preventing similar behaviour.

“Likely taken into consideration in this case was the driver’s 84 years of clean driving, and the officer’s recognition that a ticket with a fine was perhaps not required to correct the driving behaviour,” Const. Matt Cawsey wrote on the website. “The purpose (of traffic enforcement) is not punitive, but preventative and corrective.”

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Former Saanich councillor joins Cordova Bay community association board

Leif Wergeland served on Saanich council for 22 years before retiring from politics in 2018

Langford trucks vandalized for third time in five months

Staff member spends weekend washing after six trucks hit with graffiti

Police stay quiet on downtown fire investigation

The fire at Victoria’s Plaza Hotel was deemed suspicious on May 14

Saanich lifeguards earn Vital Link awards for cardiac arrest response

Awards from BC Emergency Health Services recognize quick and skillful life-saving

Police arrest jewelry thieves in same building they allegedly stole from

More than $6,000 worth of jewelry was recovered

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

RCMP searching for missing Vancouver Island teenager

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home in Port Alberni

Most Read