In October, speed limits were reduced on a number of municipal roads across the township in response to a growing number of complaints. Concerns were expressed through individual complaints, a Council delegation as well as a petition. Residents raised issues regarding speeding cars included safety hazards along roadways, the safety of children playing near the road and getting on and off school busses, as well as the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. They were seeking reductions in speed limits in specific locations.
As part of their review of these requests, staff conducted 7-day traffic speed studies during the last week of August for each of these locations. A summary of the results for each road section of concern was presented in a report, which outlined traffic counts, the number of complaints, the current and proposed speed limits, whether or not the road was part of a bus route and the physical attributes of the area which might affect its safety.
Input was also sought from the Peterborough Police who manage traffic safety within the municipality. Divisional Commander of Operations Inspector Jamie Hartnett indicated that the policing stats for the municipality indicate that collisions in Cavan Monaghan have increased, rising 62% in the second quarter of 2022 over the same period in 2021. A recent school bus and school zone initiative the organization conducted in the township resulted in the issue of more than one hundred Provincial Offense Notices within a seven day period, a large number of them covering speeding infractions at least 30 km per hour over the posted speed limit. Our police service staff see speeding as a problem in Cavan Monaghan.
Inspector Hartnett went on to suggest that lower speeds increase reaction times resulting in fewer collisions. Police monitoring traffic conclude that the average vehicle operator drives 5-10 Km/h over the posted limit, with some travelling even faster. Inspector Hartnett concluded that reducing the 80 Km/h limit to 60 Km/h would increase reaction time and would show marked improvement in the reduction of collisions, the “near misses” and overall perception of speeding.
Speed limit reductions is a growing trend in many municipalities because it has been proven to reduce collisions. In addition, provincial penalties for speeding have become more punitive, to further encourage speed reductions. Speeding fines are calculated per kilometer above the limit and are based on the magnitude of the excess speed. For example, fines for speeding less than 20 km above the posted limit are calculated at $3 per kilometre, rising to $7 per kilometre for speeds between 30 and 50 km above the posted rates. Those travelling faster than 50 km/hr above the limit face a mandatory court appearance. Drivers also lose demerit points for speeding. Travelling between 16 and 29 km above the posted limits costs three demerit points, rising to four for speeds between 30 and 49 km above the limit and six for exceeding the limit by more than 50 km. Speeding tickets for travel in excess of 15 km above the limit also have the potential to impact drivers’ insurance rates for three years. Ouch!
It pays to adhere to posted limits. Many sections of township roads where 80 km/hr was the norm have recently fallen to a 60km/hr limit, including parts of Morton, Stewart, Bland, Zion and Syer Lines and some such as Fallis and Tapley that were 60km/hr have dropped to 50km/hr. Missing that 20km/hr change could result in a $90 fine and the loss of 3 demerit points. Let’s change that Cavan Monaghan collision statistic and make our roads safer for everyone. KG