It’s not often you’ll see two cars in line with paint scrapers pushing against their windshields. The scene has become a common one throughout Saint John this weekend as police take a “zero tolerance” approach to breaking motor vehicle laws.
Those two cars were among many who were pulled over on Saturday. Their window stickers impeded their view, and to avoid a ticket, they were swiftly removed.
Others weren’t so lucky, as an officer walked to other cars with a window tint device, checking darkness. Unlike the stickers, the tint doesn’t come off so easily, leaving them with a fine.
The increased patrols are due to a car show that has attracted thousands to Saint John’s Uptown core.
The car show, now in its third year, attracted over 450 cars to TD Station. Many are modern-day street cars. Honda Civics, Volkswagon Jettas and Mitsubishi Lancers with tinted windows, aftermarket exhausts and lowered suspensions dawned the arena.
During the 2021 event, a crowd of bystanders was reportedly encouraging drivers to perform “burnouts or donuts,” and squealing tires as they left the TD Station parking lot. One officer attempted a vehicle stop, but police say people stepped in front of his vehicle. They say a bottle was thrown, causing minor damage.
During last year’s event, reports of reckless driving hit the Brunswick Square parking garage, which prompted an investigation following an alleged assault.
This year, Brunswick Square and other parking garages in the uptown core stopped cars at the gates, explaining that hourly parking wouldn’t be available during the days of the event.
“We have learned from the last couple of years that we need to take a more proactive measure with respect to a response around the city,” Staff Sergent Sean Rocca told Global News in an interview.
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“During this (last year) particular event, we did have a few incidents that jeopardized both officer and public safety.”
Organizers said that public safety is their top priority during the event, noting that they don’t condone reckless driving after the event.
Brandon Cutting said that the Saint John Police Force is simply doing their job, which he is fine with.
“They are focusing on reckless driving and impaired driving, which obviously, we don’t want to see either,” he said on Saturday.
“As everybody’s main goal for these events is public safety. I think that they’re just want people to be safe. We don’t want people being ridiculous when they leave.”
There is no word yet on how many tickets were given out during the event.
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