Excessive speeding concerns town officials

Ty Dunham
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Labrador City motorists average twice the speed limit on one street

Labrador City motorists are being urged to slow down after data revealed the majority of drivers are speeding on high traffic roads.

RNC Insp. Paula Walsh and Labrador City municipal enforcement officer Katie Quinton spoke to the town council on Tuesday, March 16 on the high number of speeding vehicles recorded by speed indicators.

Municipal enforcement officer Katie Quinton presented startling statistics at the town council meeting on Tuesday, March 16, taken from data chips installed since January in speed indicators on Bartlett Avenue near AP Low Elementary School and Avalon Drive. 

On Bartlett Avenue, with a posted speed limit of 20 kilometres per hour, the average speed was 42 km/h, and the highest speed recorded was 147 km/h. Out of the 195,391 vehicles clocked on the indicator, only 4,813 were at or below the correct speed limit.  

Vehicles on Avalon Drive were significantly closer to the posted speed limit of 40 km/h, with the average speed of 41 km/h. Out of the 251,098 vehicles recorded on the device, 102,005 were speeding. The highest speed recorded was 120 km/h. 

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Insp. Paula Walsh told council it’s unacceptable.  

“This is about the safety of our children. It’s in a school zone. There is no excuse. No way anyone can suggest it’s acceptable, particularly while children are in that area to speed.” 

Walsh said the speed indicators are a valuable resource and expects the information to help officers crack down on offenses. 

“No doubt about it, having this kind of data is going to prove to be extremely worthwhile in many ways, not the least of which is from an enforcement point of view that we will be able to know exactly how to better target enforcement.” 

However, she noted RNC’s rate of enforcement saw an increase last year, and an even greater increase this year.  

“While we see these infractions occurring in a five-month period, we also know the enforcement is also increasing. Not just with our effort, but the results we’re having in people actually being issued tickets.” 

Walsh told council she was grateful for Quinton’s work and for council recognizing the value of information the devices provide.  

“It’s a great example of the community taking ownership and all of us working together. The message needs to be understood by the greater community that speed will not be tolerated.” 

It’s a problem that requires everyone’s co-operation, she added. 

“We’re going to continue to put a greater emphasis as a community on the fact that this is something we’re concerned about and will work together. 

Labrador City Mayor Karen Oldford said drivers must abide by the rules of the road. 

“The speed limits in our community are at 40 km/h, for ideal summer road conditions. What we have out there today is not a 40 km/h zone, but yet our vehicles don’t slow down.” 

Motorists need to also understand their responsibility as a driver include not being distracted by cell phones, coffee, or putting on makeup, she noted. 

“It’s scary to me that the statistics on people being distracted in the vehicle are causing more deaths than driving while impaired. At these speeds, with the conditions we have on our streets, it is very worrisome.” 

Walsh expressed her desire to see residents report distracted driving, and said any citizen can serve as a witness in a court situation as long as a license plate number and the identification of the driver can be provided.  

Oldford said it’s time for all residents to heed the traffic laws.  

“Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of people obeying the law when it comes to speeding, and it should serve as a wake-up call to every one of us that we need to be more cognizant of the speeds we’re doing.” 

ty.dunham@tc.tc

 

Organizations: AP Low Elementary School

Geographic location: Labrador, Bartlett Avenue

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Recent comments

  • John
    March 22, 2014 - 02:49

    That 20 km/hr area goes through the halls of the school? Post a practical speed and people will obey it.

  • Darryl J
    March 20, 2014 - 07:37

    20kph in any zone is absolutely ridiculously slow.

  • Nova
    March 19, 2014 - 22:11

    20kph is absolutely silly in any zone.