By Kalinowski, Tim on May 2, 2020.
Police are warning residents to obey the rules of the road or be prepared to pay a hefty fine.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began the Lethbridge Police Service has been noticing a disturbing trend in speeding and stunting on city streets.
“We are actually seeing less enforcement during the pandemic because there is less traffic out, but one thing we are seeing is an increase in speeds we are enforcing – specifically we have issued five tickets thus far where we’ve had speeds exceeding 50 km/h over the posted speed limit,” explains Chief of Police Scott Woods. “In comparison to last year, where we didn’t issue any of those. We have also been dealing with the issue of racing on some of the streets, and stunting, because from what we’re seeing is more room for people to drive that way.”
Woods warns that just because many people are experiencing personal and economic hardships during the current pandemic there will be no leniency for those racing down the streets at high speeds, blowing through traffic lights, or otherwise engaging in dangerous driving behaviour.
“Not to lecture, but it is totally in control of the driver,” says Woods. “It’s a very easy solution: if you don’t speed, if you don’t go through an intersection on a red light, you don’t get a ticket.
“People who are concerned about it affecting their bottom line, and taking money out of your pocket, it is something you can control by not speeding and following the rules of the road.”
Similarly, the Lethbridge Police Service will not be relaxing the rules around fixed photo radar positions in the city. Woods admits some members of the public have called in to complain about photo radar tickets in the last month, feeling the fines are unfair because of people’s changing economic circumstances.
According to the LPS, photo radar is only 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.
“Our position is we need to keep the roads safe,” concludes Woods.
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