In response to all of the recent material about speeding in Niagara-on-the-Lake, I would like to add my input.
I am in St. Davids and I captured, on video, a car doing close to 100 km/h, overtaking another car on Concession 3 Road. The road is a 50 km/h zone.
I brought the video to the Niagara Regional Police and they commented and agreed with my speed estimation. I had the plate details.
The officer said, “Well, there was no accident, no one got hurt,” and they kinda hope that nothing happens. Not exactly the firm response I was hoping for.
I have several other pictures of cars speeding by a speed minder device on Concession 2, just before East and West Line, near where an 84-year-old cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run incident last month.
There were cars speeding through the signs at over 99 km/h but the sign is only a two-character display and therefore goes blank.
That’s more than 30 km/h over the posted limit – and people do not care. Those devices are used to determine if there’s a problem. But it is only considered a problem if more than 15 per cent of vehicles are exceeding the speed limit.
Heck, I might as well join the club and speed and I’ll be among the 15 per cent.
I also have an image of a large truck doing an unsafe pass by me while cycling in St. Davids.
This time the driver came barrelling by me, at more 50 km/h, within 200 metres of a stop sign and the truck’s driver had crossed the centre line and forced the oncoming traffic to put two wheels onto the sidewalk to get out of the way.
I brought the image and the plate number to the police. The officer said he’d call the registered owner and caution them.
I asked about the new close pass law requiring vehicles to give bicycles at least one metre of space and he said, it isn’t going to go anywhere.
So what are we to do? It is clear that trying nicely to caution, advertise, educate and remind people is not working. The only sure-fired way is to hit them in the wallet.
I have heard that we are supposed to be getting speed cameras by the school in St. Davids, I haven’t seen them yet, but this is a good approach.
While we are all complaining about taxes and what we don’t get for them, I believe speed cameras are considerable revenue generators. The upfront cost is high, but they will pay off, and then the revenue is gravy.
I say yes to speed bumps/humps as an interim measure, but ultimately it is only when speeding hits the drivers in the wallet that we can expect a visible change in behaviour.
At the same time, I would like the Niagara police to announce that they are getting serious about this issue.
I agree with comments that it is locals who “know the road blindfolded” who are greater contributors to this issue, because I see the behaviour throughout the week, when the tourists are not as prevalent.
Unfortunately, familiarity breeds contempt.
One thing is for certain, out of frustration and a desire to protect their families, people will start to attempt to deal with this directly themselves and this will only lead to confrontation and conflict.
Niagara Regional Police need to pay heed to this, because we are at a turning point now.