The game of cat and mouse continued Saturday evening in Montreal between police officers and fans of modified cars who have been gathering for a few weeks in parking lots in the metropolitan area and broadcasting their dangerous maneuvers on social networks.
Police surveillance was increased on Saturday evening, especially around the Orange Julep, in Montreal, as Le Journal noted.
Car enthusiasts met there around 8 p.m. When they arrived, they instead saw dozens of police officers who played spoilers.
According to our information, on the night of Saturday to yesterday, small gatherings were held in various places on the island of Montreal, such as Anjou and Dorval, as well as in the suburbs, notably in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville , on the South Shore.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) was unable yesterday to provide an assessment of the operations it carried out with other local police forces.
The merry-go-round has been going on for a few weeks. Different police forces in the metropolitan area have had to intervene with drivers who meet in the parking lots of shopping centers.
The police have mainly intervened for modified vehicles that do not respect the regulations during street races involving dangerous driving and unsafe actions.
“They have behaviors that leave something to be desired and a behavior that leads to dangerous situations,” explained Sergeant Louis-Philippe Bibeau, spokesperson for the SQ.
On Halloween, a first meeting of about 300 vehicles at the Galeries Rive Nord had alerted the police in Repentigny.
“People got out of their vehicles and it was screaming a lot. There were fireworks and smoke made with smoke machines, ”said Sergeant Martin Joseph.
No ticket had been issued.
The same evening in the parking lot of Carrefour Laval, a car caught fire after a violent collision, during a gathering of twenty vehicles.
The following week, the Laval police intervened with about a thousand car enthusiasts gathered in the parking lot of a Walmart.
They then went elsewhere on the North Shore and the South Shore as well as on the island of Montreal.
During this evening, more than 50 statements of offense were served. Five drivers had their driver’s license suspended and four vehicles were seized, among others.
They film their maneuvers
Many videos shot during these events circulate on social networks, has observed The newspaper.
In the images, we see dangerous maneuvers, bucane and drift shows while the spectators applaud. Fireworks are also launched into the air from cars on highways. Most of the people filmed ignore physical distancing and wearing a mask, despite COVID-19.
However, they were much more discreet yesterday.
Outdoor gatherings are currently prohibited in the red zone due to the pandemic.
Other car enthusiasts are disappointed and angry
Some enthusiasts are dumbfounded to see so many gatherings of car and speed enthusiasts turn sour in recent weeks in the greater Montreal area.
“These are all tuning enthusiasts in Quebec who land because of them. And this is not the image we want to project of our passion, ”says Pedro Ruibal, deploring the gatherings that have taken place in recent weeks in Laval, Montreal and Repentigny, in particular.
“We put so much money, time and love on our vehicles. We are not going to spoil all that by making donuts in a parking lot, ”he says, also worrying about the safety of others.
According to him, the organizers of these events are inspired by behaviors found in certain gatherings in the United States as well as in films such as Fast and dangerous.
“They mess around in the parking lots and rush off as soon as the police arrive. I really don’t agree with that. I’m very disappointed and angry, ”says the driver of a blue Dodge Caliber.
For Mr. Ruibal, it is quite possible to organize rallies of car enthusiasts without there being so many excesses. He has already put together several events that unfolded in order. Activities are currently on pause, given the ban on gatherings in red zones.
“Normally there are rules. If you burn, for example, you’re stuck. At the entrance, we take the name of the participants, ”he cites as an example.
Lamia Raho, who drives a modified BMW X6, has attended several meetings in her life and has never seen behavior like the ones reported in recent weeks.
“They don’t give a damn; health measures, police, tickets and security, ”she said with disappointment.
There are places, like race tracks, where it is possible to let go of your madman in a safe way, says Ms. Raho.
“They have no excuse, because these places are open right now. The street is not a race track; of course there will be consequences. They do not deserve their license, ”she says.
“The tracks are there. They were even open this weekend. They could have let go without a problem, ”adds Pedro Ruibal.