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RCMP weighs in on Spaniard’s Bay’s concerns about speeding

Bay Roberts Staff Sgt. Brent Hillier.
Bay Roberts Staff Sgt. Brent Hillier. - file photo

Speed bumps not the answer, says Brent Hillier of local detachment

SPANIARD’S BAY, NL — Some residents of Spaniard’s Bay may start looking for a new solution to an old problem.

Seymour’s Road in Spaniard’s Bay is a fairly long stretch of road located just off Brazil’s Hill, and serves as the location of plenty of residents in the community. These very residents are some of the 70 who recently signed a petition looking for action to be taken against people driving well above the speed limit up and down the street.

This petition was presented to the Spaniard’s Bay council during a regular council meeting held on Monday night, May 16th – the same meeting that Bay Roberts RCMP Staff Sgt. Brent Hillier also attended with a presentation of his own regarding work the detachment has been doing in recent months to combat speeding, particularly along the Veteran’s Memorial Highway.

The statistics Hillier presented were collected over a 30-day period, dating back to April 14th. During that time, the detachment received approximately 39 calls, which he says is not a whole lot, considering the number of residents in the two communities. Of these 39, only four were speeding complaints.

This, Hillier explained, may be an underlying reason as to why speeding can be such a problem in certain areas, such as Seymour’s Road.

He said that although there are often plenty of people talking about the amount of speeding they see in certain areas, there are only a fraction of those people who make the call to the RCMP about it.

“In the last 30 days, we’ve had four speeding complaints in the area, and one of those were from Seymour’s Road. In the policing world, that isn’t a speeding issue, so where does that fall back on?” Hillier said. “If you’re writing letters to council, that’s not the answer. That’s only one complaint to us when they call about it. But, if we’ve got 20 people calling about Seymour’s Road, then we’re going to look at that as being an issue.”

Hillier went on to note that Monday night’s council meeting was the first time he’d heard of the 70-signature petition coming out of Seymour’s Road, further stressing the importance of directly contacting RCMP.

On top of this, he added that it was important for callers to provide as much information as possible when reporting speeding, which may sometimes deter people from calling who do not want to get too deeply involved in the legal process, especially if the driver challenges the ticket through the courts.

“Time is important. I don’t want to be patrolling an area around noon if people are usually speeding through there at around three or four in the afternoon, because I’m going to miss it all, and I can’t be everywhere all the time,” he said. “We want as best a description as we can get so we can be in the right place at the right time, when we need to be. A lot of people don’t want to get involved too heavily, but my argument to that is, if you’re so concerned about the safety of your road and your kids, then you should be willing to step up and do what you can to help.”

The petition pertaining to Seymour’s Road specifically inquired about speed bumps. This is also something Deputy Mayor Darlene Stamp brought up to Hillier, asking whether or not the objects actually did what they were designed to do – slow down traffic.

“Speed bumps are a pretty opinionated thing,” he said. “In my opinion – and that’s all it is, my opinion – they don’t work. Especially not the regular rubber ones you see around, because the best way to go over them is by going fast. What does work, though, is increased policing, and that’s exactly what we’ll do if we’re able to identify a real speeding problem anywhere in our communities. Enforcement is the key.”

This dedicated enforcement will give RCMP some numbers to look over, such as how many tickets are written and average speeds for that area. He explained that from there, the detachment will work toward lowering the speeds if a trend is seen from those stats.

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