More than a dozen high-end vehicles spotted southbound on Highway 99 at speeds estimated at up to 200 km/h were seized in South Surrey and White Rock Wednesday.
White Rock RCMP Const. Janelle Shoihet said police in the two communities were tasked to assist Deas Island RCMP, after the highway patrol fielded several complaints regarding the fast-paced vehicles coming out of the Massey Tunnel around 3:30 p.m.
All 13 of the vehicles – a Ferrari, two Maserati Turismos, three Lamborghini Gallardos, an Audi R8, three Nissan GT-Rs, a Mercedes SL63, a Mercedes SLS and an Aston Martin DB9 – were travelling “well over the posted speed limit,” Shoihet said.
It’s estimated the vehicles have a combined value of nearly $3 million.
“Some of these, we’ve only seen in movies,” Shoihet said.
Witnesses on the highway reported seeing on several occasions two of the luxury cars travelling side-by-side then slowing down to allow two other vehicles in front of them to race.
Surrey RCMP stopped six of the vehicles; White Rock officers stopped another seven along Johnston Road, at Russell and Roper Avenues.
The drivers – all 20 years old and younger from Richmond and Vancouver, including 12 males and one female, according to police – face non-criminal charges of driving without due consideration for others.
They are each to be fined $196, and their vehicles have been impounded for seven days.
Police concede the penalties may not be enough of a deterrent to prevent those involved from repeating their actions in the future.
“It’s hard to say,” said Supt. Norm Gaumont, of the Lower Mainland Traffic Services. “You’re talking about young males, and obviously, they have a lot of money.
“Hopefully, it’ll teach them a lesson.”
Gaumont noted six of the 13 drivers cited did not have their full Class 5 licences, some displaying ‘N’s on the back of their vehicles. Police will be in contact with the office of the superintendent of motor vehicles to suggest the licences of all those involved be reviewed, he added.
He said only one driver, an 18-year-old, was listed as a registered owner.
Gaumont noted that while street racing is not rare in the Lower Mainland, the sheer number of vehicles involved in Wednesday’s incident is unique.
“This is the first time we’ve heard of it,” he said. “It’s very unusual to be seeing this kind of racing, that time of day.”
Witnesses who saw the luxury-car lineup and that police aftermath told Peace Arch News the drivers seemed “pretty nonchalant,” and were disrespectful of officers.
One woman said she saw rude hand gestures, and another passerby said there was no obvious sense of remorse.
“One group of kids… they were denying that they had been racing,” said Donna Passmore. “The cop, as I was walking by, was giving them a real dressing-down. They weren’t embarrassed.”
Passmore said she hopes all those involved have their driver’s licences revoked.
“(Authorities) have got to make an example and show that they really will exercise zero tolerance,” she said.
Gaumont said while police would like to lay criminal charges, it is unlikely in this case, given that all the evidence they have is from third-party witnesses.
Anyone who saw the vehicles on the highway who hasn’t already spoken to police is asked to call their local police station. In Surrey, call 604-599-0502; in White Rock, 778-593-3600.