Regional police said they have busted more than a dozen drivers for stunt driving since the start of 2021.
According to a post on social media on Tuesday, 14 drivers have lost their licences and vehicles for stunt driving since Jan. 1, including three who were stopped going at least 50 km/h over the speed limit overnight on Monday.
That number had increased to 15 as of Wednesday, officials said.
"We are actually seeing an increase in stunt driving," Acting Staff Sgt. Mark Hammer said. "We've had almost double the number. In 2019, we had 143; in 2020 we had 285."
One of Monday's incidents involved a 22-year-old driver who police stopped at 9 p.m. The social media post said he was going 56 km/h over the speed limit on Highway 8.
Two hours later, officers stopped a 34-year-old driver in Haysville who was going 50 km/h over the posted limit.
Police stopped a third driver, 47, just after midnight. In that case, officials said the driver was going 55 km/h over the posted speed limit on Arthur Street in Woolwich.
"Speeding knows no age limits and affects all in the community," the post read in part.
Last month, officers in Waterloo Region called stunt driving a disturbing trend—from Sept. 1 until mid-December, there were 75 drivers who were charged with that offence.
CAA Southern Ontario said the pandemic is one of the leading factors behind more aggressive driving.
"Mostly as a result of reception in the amount of volume in traffic has created the opportunity to go fast than people would normally go," Teresa Di Felice said.
There have been some reports of street racing, but CAA said aggressive driving is usually a crime of opportunity.
"You have people who are, just because they can get somewhere faster because there is less traffic on the road, some people do have a propensity for speed," Di Felice said.
The minimum fine for stunt driving is $2,000 and a seven-day licence suspension. Vehicles are also impounded for seven days.
However, police say the cost can be much higher.
"It's a simple formula," Hammer said. "The fast you go, the more apt you are to get hurt in a collision."
In 2020, the region hit a 12-year high with 20 fatal collisions.
"It's taxing on everyone who responds, not only the families involved with the victim, the first responders on scene and the community as a whole," Hammer said.
Since January 1st 2021, 14 driver have lost their licences and vehicles for stunt driving including three last night. At 9:00 p.m. a 22 year old was stopped travelling 56 km/h over on Highway 8. pic.twitter.com/yoY43RDDes— WRPS Traffic Unit (@WRPS_Traffic) January 12, 2021