OTTAWA -- Ottawa police say there has been an increase in speeding, stunt driving and other unsafe activity on city streets during the pandemic, and they’re stepping up enforcement in response.

Officers have issued more than 4,000 tickets to drivers in the month of April alone, police said Thursday. One of those stops involved a driver who was charged with stunt driving for a fourth time, police said.

“Ottawa streets are not meant to be treated as anyone’s personal race track,” Traffic Unit Sgt. Rob Cairns said in a release.

Starting Saturday, police say they are launching ‘Project NoiseMaker,’ a stepped-up effort to reduce speeding, stunt driving and excessive noise.

It’s the second year of the program. Last year, police stopped an average of 10 stunt drivers per week and issued 2,300 tickets, including about 1,400 for speeding.

“Officers will be out during the daytime, evenings and weekends to ensure everyone, especially families and children, are safe on our roads and in their neighbourhoods,” Cairns said.

Police lay stunt driving charges when a driver is going 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit. Fines start at $2,000, along with a seven-day vehicle seizure, driving suspension and a court date.

Excessive noise is usually generated by modified vehicle mufflers and exhaust systems. The fine for an improper muffler is $110, but for a modified exhaust or missions emissions control equipment it's $365.