Ferrari driver, 22, charged after luxury car clocked at 210 km/h
Published Monday, August 21, 2017 11:53AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 22, 2017 9:26AM PDT
A man in his 20s has been charged under the Motor Vehicles Act more than a month after allegedly driving his Ferrari 150 km/h over the speed limit.
West Vancouver police said Monday that Yihao Wang, 22, has been charged with excessive speeding.
"The officer – rather than issue a violation ticket and offer the driver the option of paying the ticket, taking the fine – really felt it was important given the nature of the allegations to take it to court, have it heard directly by a justice of the peace and allow for that broader range of penalty options," Const. Jeff Palmer said.
Those convicted can face driving prohibitions and fines that would be higher than a traditional traffic violation ticket, he said.
Palmer said the move was relatively rare, but added that, fortunately, so are allegations that drivers were travelling at such extreme speeds.
The charge was approved Friday, more than six weeks after the West Vancouver resident had his luxury vehicle impounded.
Wang was pulled over early Tuesday, July 4 after his vehicle was clocked at a speed of 210 km/h on the Lions Gate Bridge, police said.
The posted speed limit on the bridge connecting Vancouver and the North Shore is 60 km/h but drops to 50 as northbound drivers enter the off-ramp area, meaning the vehicle was travelling between 150 and 160 km/h over the limit.
The 2015 Ferrari 458 was initially impounded for seven days, but officials decided to extend it to 60 days. Wang was also given a 16-month driving ban.
They said at the time that the driver was known to police, having been pulled over for excessive speed on the same bridge in April.
Court records show several driving and speeding-related charges against a man of the same name and birth year, but officers have not confirmed whether the previous charges are against the same person.
Two charges stem from offenses in 2013, where a man was driving without a driver's licence in March, and again in October. He pleaded not guilty to the offence, and an adjudicator found the accused guilty of a lesser, included or other offence arising from the same incident.
An excessive speeding charge from 2015 and a 2016 speeding charge were deemed to not be disputed.
Wang will be appearing in court in November on a charge of using an electronic device while driving in February. He was ticketed in April for the previously mentioned excessive speed allegation.
Palmer said that the matter was before the court, and official communications would focus on the charge before the court, not any past allegations.
However, he added that driving history is a factor that is often considered during the sentencing phase. If convicted, police could make a presentation to the court arguing for a harsher penalty.
"This is a very serious set of allegations. Excessive speed is always a concern for us, especially in an urban environment… where there may be restricted views due to rises in the road or restricted views due to curves," Palmer said.
"Drivers that travel well over the posted speed limit are exposing themselves to situations that can come up unexpectedly and leave them with next to no, or no time to appropriately react and safely react."
Wang is scheduled to appear in a North Vancouver courtroom on Sept. 13.
The vehicle impound is set to expire in early September, and the 16-month driving ban is ongoing. Both penalties are separate to any that would be imposed by the court, if Wang is convicted.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim