By Lethbridge Herald on May 1, 2020.
Police note increase in speeding, concerning driving behaviours
Following an increase in speeding and other concerning driving behaviours, police are urging motorists to slow down and obey the rules of the road.
The issue was brought to light Wednesday evening during a public meeting of the Lethbridge Police Commission when Chief Scott Woods addressed several inquiries received from citizens concerned about the ongoing use of photo radar during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Woods explained to Commission the police service has observed less vehicle traffic on local roads which has resulted in an increase in unsafe driving practices, including stunting and racing. Police have also noted higher rates of speed for the tickets being issued, which is likely attributed to less traffic volume and drivers taking liberties as a result.
To date in 2020, police have issued five tickets to drivers clocked at going more than 50 km/h over the limit. By comparison there were no tickets for 50km/h speed violations issued in all of 2019.
“Road safety has always been important and even more so right now with the increase in pedestrian and bicycle traffic as more people are outside enjoying the warm weather while we continues to navigate the restrictions imposed during the pandemic,” said Woods.
Some of the concerns about photo radar and police continuing to issue tickets during a pandemic noted the practice could have a detrimental effect on some residents given the lay-offs, financial uncertainties and day to day stresses brought on by a litany of restrictions.
Photo radar is used in areas where conventional enforcement is unsafe or ineffective, areas with a history of collisions, speeding problems and other offences, in school, playground and construction zones, areas with high pedestrian traffic as well as areas where the public has expressed concerns related to speeding.
Drivers are responsible for obeying the rules of the road and doing their part to keep our roads safe at all times. Conventional and photo enforcement of traffic offences will not be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lethbridge Police Service release