A 29-year-old Toronto woman has received a hefty fine and a licence suspension after reaching speeds exceeding 200 km/h through Chatham-Kent with her two young children improperly secured in the back seat of the vehicle.
Demah Alnajjar’s matter was scheduled to be dealt with in a Chatham court on Friday, but court heard the matter had already been resolved.
The Chatham Daily News learned from Alnajjar’s lawyer that a resolution had been reached on Feb. 14 in the Provincial Offences Court in St. Thomas.
According to the records in court, Alnajjar was charged with stunt driving under the Highway Traffic Act, which resulted in a $4,005 fine and a six-month driver’s licence suspension.
Alnajjar was pursued by OPP officers from both the Chatham and Elgin detachments after she was clocked on radar travelling at 212 km/h in a 100 km/h zone in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401, near the Merlin Road overpass, just before 2 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2012.
According to the OPP, Alnajjar continued driving for another 70 kilometres, passing through at least one construction zone, travelling at speeds ranging from 170 km/h to 212 km/h.
It took officers 20 minutes to safely pull over the white, 2013 Mercedes Benz CLX she was driving. She was stopped without incident near Furnival Road in Elgin County after being signalled by a police cruiser with its lights and sirens activated.
After stopping the vehicle, officers discovered a six-year-old girl and three-year-old boy were not property secured in their child booster seats.
Alnajjar was originally charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and two charges of failing to secure young children in booster seats.
Chatham-Kent OPP media relations officer Const. Aaron McPhail said this incident involved “one of the highest speeds that I can recall in the area.”
He said the higher the speed, the greater the risk of being in a fatal crash.
“This could have had tragic consequences,” McPhail said, adding the OPP has investigated numerous collisions where speed was a factor resulting in fatalities and serious injuries.
He said when someone is driving that fast, “the risk is very significant . . . to the driver, the passengers and to the public.
“In this case, we were pleased that we could get the vehicle stopped safely and that there were no serious injuries,” McPhail added.
He said traffic safety is a core function of the OPP and its provincial traffic safety program has identified aggressive driving as “one of the four major causal factors of fatalities on Ontario’s roads.”