City councilors want “robust” radar and police enforcement of traffic laws as part of a community-wide effort to improve safety.
“There is a perception in the community, and I believe it to be true, that we’ve seen less traffic enforcement, considerably less than what we saw a decade ago,” Mayor Kevin Davis said Tuesday. “That’s justified, in part, by the police service leadership indicating there are other priorities which I don’t doubt.
“However, we do have a police service that is one of the most well-funded in Ontario.”
Davis said the city also has one of the highest number of officers per capita in the province for communities similar in size to Brantford.
“I think it’s fair that we should expect to have robust traffic enforcement,” Davis said. “Traffic calming measures and speed enforcement cameras are not going to solve the issue.
“We need to have robust traffic enforcement in our community supplementing what we’re doing in terms of traffic calming.”
Speaking at a council administration committee meeting Tuesday, Davis successfully introduced three amendments to a resolution that will make the introduction of automated speed enforcement a top priority in the city’s 2024 capital budget.
The amendments call for greater flexibility with respect to the use of automated speed enforcement cameras. They also call for the council’s two representatives on the Brantford Police Services – Coun. Mandy Samwell and Coun. Greg Martin – to advocate for making traffic enforcement a high priority policing objective.
Coun. John Sless (Ward 2) said remembers a time when a motorist couldn’t drive down Paris Road without police radar being set up in the area of St. John’s College.
“I haven’t seen that in years,” Sless, who lives just off of Paris Road, said. “Right now, Paris Road is a drag way.
“There are no rules because no one is there to enforce the speed limit.”
Sless said police often speak about a two or three-pronged approach to an issue.
City council is doing its part by implementing red light cameras, speed bumps and other traffic calming measures. But what isn’t there is radar enforcement, Sless said.
The amendments introduced by Davis are expected to be approved when city council meets on Dec. 19.
Councilors also accepted, as information a Vision Zero Road Safety Committee report prepared by city staff. Vision Zero is a strategy to reduce the number of road collisions on municipal streets, the number of collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians and personal injury collisions.
The strategy also aims to reduce the number of fatalities resulting from collisions to zero.
In March 2023, the city implemented a red light camera program to crack down on aggressive driving and increase awareness of the dangers of running red lights.
The cameras capture vehicles entering and proceeding through a red light at an intersection.
Figures provided by the city show the red light cameras captured 492 violations at six city intersections in August 2023. The majority of them – 213 – were at the Wayne Gretzky Parkway – Morton Avenue intersection. A total of 89 violations took place at the Clarence Street – Dalhousie Street intersection while a further 83 occurred on Clarence Street at Icomm Drive/Greenwich Street.
There were 68 violations at Wayne Gretzky Parkway at Henry Street and 38 at Veterans Memorial Parkway at Blackburn Drive.
The safest intersection in August 2023, at least in terms of the number of violations, was Market Street at Wellington Street where there was one violation.
To view the entire report visit: https://pub-brantford.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=18755.