They’re gorgeous, expensive and can burn down the road well beyond the speed limit — and the drivers of a $245,000 Ferrari Scuderia and a $85,000 BMW M6 have both lost their dream cars thanks to B.C.’s beefed-up civil forfeiture laws.
On Saturday, September 25th at around 10:45 AM, motorists in the area of Mt. Seymour Rd. spotted two vehicles racing at excessive speeds up Mt. Seymour. They called the RCMP to report the dangerous driving.
An officer, who was conducting patrols near the top of the mountain when the call was dispatched, prepared to intercept the drivers. Moments later, he watched, stunned, as a blue Ferrari F430 rocketed past him at almost 200 km/h. The BMW M6 followed close behind.
The officer was able to catch up to the vehicles in the parking lot at the top of Mt. Seymour. The drivers, two young men, one aged 21 and the other 22, both residents of Vancouver, were issued almost $1000 in traffic fines for Excessive Speeding and Driving Without Due Care and Attention. Under provisions of the new Provincial legislation for excessive speeding and street racing, both drivers were given immediate 15-day driving bans and the cars were impounded.
“With these kinds of unbelievable speeds, it would only have been a matter of time before they killed either themselves or someone else. The new Provincial driving legislation now allows police to take away their licenses and their cars, a consequence that not only saves lives, but in this case, is also unarguably fitting.”
Cpl. DeVries said that the stretch of road is used at this time of year by hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and families who make their way up to the mountain to enjoy the outdoors.
Whether RCMP and the Civil Forfeiture Office seize vehicles depends on specific criteria, and Coleman said the road race met the criteria under the amended law of April 2008.
The forfeiture was sought on the grounds that the vehicles were “street racing at an estimated 200 kilometres per hour in a 60 km/h zone”; the drivers showed “disregard for the safety of others on the road”; the vehicles “narrowly missed three pedestrians,” and there “was potential for catastrophic injury or death.”
“When a vehicle has killed or injured someone, it’s too late,” said Coleman. “Our laws now work to take vehicles away from reckless drivers before they hurt someone, because they are demonstrating no regard for the safety of themselves or others on our roads.
“This is probably the first time it’s been used at this level. We decided to use this particular new forfeiture section on this particular case, and I’m glad we did.
“These are probably the most salacious vehicles we’ve seized.”
Of the 2008 Ferrari sale proceeds, 50 per cent will go to a relative of the driver who was part owner but was not involved in the incident.
The province will receive 20 per cent, and the driver 30 per cent.
Proceeds from the BMW sale will go first to cover the costs of storage and disposal, and repaying a bank debt on the vehicle.
Out of the remaining proceeds, 30 per cent will go to the province and 70 per cent to the driver.
Coleman said the drivers received money “because they have a bank loan to pay.”
From the total proceeds from both vehicles, Coleman’s said the government’s proceeds of crime office will receive an estimated $100,000 “for policing and crime prevention.”
Coleman said that to date, cash and assets valued at about $14 million have been forfeited to the province, including $4.4 million since April 1, 2010.
If a civil forfeiture action resulted in a B.C. Supreme Court trial and a vehicle forfeiture, it is possible to appeal the forfeiture order to the B.C. Court of Appeal.