Enforcement Should Target High Crash Locations, Not Fishing Holes

Just perused an interesting map that is on Castanet.net, it shows the areas of accidents in our area. We have a difference of opinion as to the RCMP and their use of speed traps and were both entitled to this and I always respect others opinions. What would be interesting is, if we were to put an overly of a map of where the RCMP regularly set up their speed traps over the high frequency accident map and see if your correct when you say they target high accident areas. I mentioned to you about one of their favourite spots in my area where I drive by quite often (The approach into West Kelowna off the Coquihalla Connector past the sawmill down the hill and into a new speed zone.) From my observations and the conversations I have had with other folks in our area this is the most common place the RCMP set up. What is worth noting about this is there is not a flag to be found in this area on the accident map. Just thought I would get your comment.

Mapping is a Good Idea

The Cowichan Information Hub did something similar for the Malahat Drive which is Highway 1 north of Victoria. I thought that it was such a good idea that I passed it along to the head of RCMP Traffic Services on Vancouver Island. The response was that perhaps ICBC could do this for the whole province because they were the ones collecting all the crash information. It is a good idea in my view as it lets the public know what the issues are if they care to look. I used to post our collision data on the web when I worked for Central Island Traffic Services out of Parksville.

Superintendent Norm Gaumont agrees with your outlook. He was the originator of a database called TSMIT, or Traffic Services Management Information Tool. The tool is meant to map collision locations and causes and to insure that enforcement is focused on those causes and locations.

Of course, some enforcement needs to be done in locations that are not high crash locations as well. The misbehaving driving public needs to worry about apprehension at any place and time, not just in the places that they expect.

You may wish to ask Central Okanagan Traffic Services to post the information on the Kelowna RCMP Detachment web page. Remember though that these things to take time and cost money. Someone undoubtedly will have to decide if it is time and money well spent.

Submitted by E-Mail

I’m having my morning coffee and reading your response to my comments on speed traps and accident maps. At times when I read your response I can’t help but smile and think you missed your calling in that you should have joined the diplomatic core instead of the RCMP in the way you defend their use of speed traps. I will site you one more instance of why the general public, myself included are so cynical when it comes to the RCMP and speed traps and then cease and desist as we will simply agree to disagree and leave it at that. About 10 years or so ago they did a serious upgrade to the highway from the outskirts of Lake Country down that long hill to the straightaway at the bottom going east (About 3 0r 4 kilometres) Unfortunately they failed to upgrade the speed limit to accommodate the new piece of highway and it was a natural for people to exceed the speed limit. The RCMP were on it like bird dogs. They had a speed trap there almost daily, I worked in an office at the time with about a dozen people and our work required us to travel quite often on this stretch of road. We had an informal survey amongst us as to how many of us had been ticketed in the last 6 months on this stretch and 8 of us had tickets myself included. The public were very upset over this so they upgraded the speed limit by 20 K which should have been done in the first place and that solved the problem. After that The RCMP speed traps were as rare as snow in July on that stretch as they moved on to more lucrative territory. So what’s the moral of this story? The RCMP recognized a bonanza and took full advantage while they could, made a bundle for the Govt, and did nothing in the way of preventing any accidents on this stretch of highway. The general public lost a lot of money over a mistake by the highway dept. In not posting the highway properly in the first place ,And I became a lifelong cynic about the RCMP and their concerns about the general public and speeding.

Diplomacy

Well, I don't imagine that I would get too far if I called you an idiot and ranted about the fact that most drivers have decided that they will travel at the speed that suits them, regardless of the law, the posted speed limit or whether it is safe or not. Rather I look at the mistakes I make myself, what I learned of human tendencies over 25 years of enforcement and what investigating serious collisions has taught me and then I try to examine the topic and present the best answer I can and leave it up to the poster to either agree or disagree. Often we have to agree to disagree, but we can do it politely.

I've never worried about a radar trap because I choose to follow the speed limit or even in some cases to drive below the speed limit. I don't see that it costs me anything to do this and hopefully it will result in a reduced chance of a collision due to inappropriate speed.

Whether I am right or I am wrong certainly depends on your point of view, but the signs are there, you know the rules and if you choose to disobey them you get to give your hard earned money to the government if you are caught and ticketed. Speed enforcement can do nothing to you if you don't disobey.

 

 

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