Coronavirus and associated stay-at-home guidelines have reduced road traffic around the world, leading some speed-hungry drivers to open the taps on their sports cars. Just this past weekend, Canadian police pulled over a 19-year-old Mercedes C63 AMG driver after clocking him doing 308 km/h. One officer was so baffled, he made multiple videos expressing his astonishment. “This is the fastest speed that I’ve ever heard of,” he says in one. Have a look.
This all went down this past Saturday at around 10 p.m. in Burlington, Ontario, roughly 55 kilometres southwest of Toronto. A police sergeant saw the headlights of a car roughly a third of a mile away on the Queen Elizabeth Way highway, and used his laser gun to measure the speed of the approaching vehicle. What he saw on the screen was just absurd:
Three hundred eight kilometers per hour is wild even for a W204-generation Mercedes C63 AMG, which in most trims is limited to either 250 km/h or 280 km/h , though the Black Series (which this car doesn’t appear to be) is listed with a top speed of 300 km/h. Only tuned variants of this 6.2-litre V8 monster are known to eclipse 300, so if the sergeant’s speed gun is right, this Benz has received a tune or two. Either that, or there was a heck of a tailwind on the QEW on Saturday.
Here’s a clip showing the car on the side of the highway on a trailer as police impound the car for a week. The 19-year-old driver has lost his licence for that same duration.
150 drivers charged and 150 vehicles impounded for 7 days since May 1 in the #GTA by OPP. Including this car that was stopped last night for going 308km/h on the QEW. #7DayLicenceSuspension #7DayVehicleImpound pic.twitter.com/lbjb4jxTrX
— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) May 10, 2020
Sergeant Kerry Schmidt took to multiple social media platforms to express his bewilderment. The tweet just before the video above links to a 13 minute Periscope clip in which Schmidt admits that he’s “speechless,” and goes into the details of the incident.
He says the 19-year-old in the Mercedes was joined by another 19 year-old in the passenger’s seat. The pair were returning from a cruise in his dad’s car, driving on the QEW with other traffic nearby. The road, Schmidt mentions, has speed limits between 62 mph and 68 mph. A police sergeant measured the car’s speed with his laser device, saw 308 km/h on the screen, and pulled the Mercedes over. Others vehicles passing by the scene, Schmidt states, were “honking in delight” that the Benz’s reign of high-speed terror had been put to an end.
“This is absolutely egregious for anyone to be going those speeds,” Schmidt says in the Periscope video. “This could have turned into the most devastating, fatal crash ever. This vehicle would have been completely destroyed.”
The sergeant for the Highway Safety Division of the Ontario Provincial Police discusses how rampant this problem has been, of late. “We’ve charged about 150 people with street racing since the first of May,” he says. And that’s just in the Toronto region.
The Burlington police officer who stopped the Mercedes on the QEW sent Schmidt the picture of the laser device’s screen, and Schmidt at first thought it was a joke. “It’s obviously him sitting at the end of an airport watching jets take off and land,” Schmidt says in a second video—in which he reiterates how absurd this whole thing is—above.
But no, it was no joke, and now the driver has lost his licence for a week, he’s lost his dad’s Mercedes for a week, and he’ll face more serious consequences in court. As Schmidt mentions in the clip, the driver could receive penalties of 10 years in jail for dangerous driving and six months in jail, two years of licence suspension, and a $15,000 fine for street racing/stunt driving.
I myself like to drive fast, and I’m generally ok with others exceeding the speed limit in certain conditions (if there are no other cars around, if the car has been well maintained, etc.), but 191? Unless you’re on a private race track or air strip, that’s just an awful idea.