SpeedwatchWhat is the idea behind the speed reader board at the roadside? Is speed watch out to help the police see that speeding drivers get charged? Why are the people writing notes? These are common questions asked about a very valuable volunteer group in your community.

Speed watch uses a portable radar mounted on a display that is placed beside the road in places that are suggested by the public or the police. Drivers passing through the beam are shown their speed in large numbers on a reader board in the hope that if they are speeding, they will slow down to the posted limit. A tally of the speeds shown are kept by the operators to establish whether high speeds are common at the site.

If so, police may use the data to plan enforcement action. License numbers of those vehicles that significantly exceed the posted speed limit may also be recorded and passed on to the police. The owner of the vehicle may be written a warning letter in the hope that the driver will be advised and encouraged to follow the speed limit.

The reader board may also be used as a simple method of testing the accuracy of the speedometer of your vehicle. Care must be taken to insure that yours is the only vehicle in the radar beam to receive an accurate reading.

Police do work in partnership with speed watch in a two strikes program by monitoring traffic after it has passed the reader board. Those drivers who have not accepted the reader board advice and slowed down receive speeding tickets.

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Speedwatch and Community

Speedwatch and Community Policing are both programs that are a total waste of time and especially for volunteers. Without a Community oriented Municipal police force, nothing will be of any benefit.

To have people volunteer their time, after a very lengthy interview and waiting period to be approved, I must say is the most rediculous thing to be involved with.

If I cannot volunteer as a Concerned Citizen and taxpayer, without the big long initial interview and criminal check, you know something is wrong before you even get started.

Even if you do volunteer and have areas of concern, no on will listen to your area's of concern, because we do not have a Municipal Community oriented Police force who will respond to your concerns.

I asked Speedwatch volunteers if they felt they made some difference, they responded by telling me it was a joke because every single area of concern never gets dealt with due to the lack of a police force with a mandate for traffic law enforcement.

There are no longer Proactive measures taken, not even reactive measures unless ICBC has a long list of fatalities on a particular intersection or part of a roadway, and even the enforcement provided is not acceptable for the problem to dissolve. It takes at least 90 Days of enforcement in any one area to make a dent!

Until society develops an old school Municipal Policing Force that regularly practices law enforcement for the benefit of neighborhoods, communities or cities, Volunteer Programs might as well be flushed away with all of the existing laws that are not being enforced.

It is pretty sad when our Justice system needs total amending to bring it up to 2010 standards, but when the exisiting laws that were created for our safety are not being enforced, it's not very enjoyable having to put up with law breakers on every street, every day, around the clock.

Speedwatch is an absolute waste of time!

In Kelowna, speed studies were done and have verified nearly all the traffic is driving at an average of 20 km/hr over the limit, everywhere! Drivers know that there isn't law enforcement, so they continue to speed. What good is Speedwatch when the problem is an epidemic and the only solution is to start handing out millions of traffic fines. Speedwatch provides information about concerned areas, the whole of BC is a concerned area, due to the lack of Photo radar and traffic law enforcement, so we don't need volunteers to tell us speed is a problem, we already know what the problems are, we just need enforcement!

We have tailgating, failing to stop, aggressive driving, speeding, excessive noise, running red lights, people still talking and texting on their cell phones, etc. and NO ENFORCEMENT!

Speedwatch Vs Road Watch

Speedwatch is a volunteer program, consisting mainly of groups of seniors, commonly known as “snowbirds” who each, spend a few hours a year monitoring traffic with the help of speed reader boards. Although some people slow down when they see their speed posted, the program is an absolute waste of time, and should be abolished. This program is limited to volunteer input only, which is the cause for failure. The Speedwatch program is also limited to a short season, as well as severely lacking in members.

While speed reader boards appear to be slowing traffic down, it only temporarily slows down the honest driver, but not the real aggressive driver, which is the cause for concern. Speed reader boards are only good if there is a form of speed enforcement to back them up, or drivers realize there are no consequences for speeding, which only adds insult to injury. Speed Boards, because of their ability to display, collect false readings of drivers habits, because many people temporarily slow down when they pass, only because of instinct. If the boards did not display, but just collected speed information, average speeds travelled would be considerably higher, thus proving the "temporary" factor, but not a consistent form of speed enforcement.

An interesting challenge would be to monitor a particular road displaying driver speeds for a week, then not displaying speeds for the following week, collect the data and see whats really taking place. Speed Reader boards are not providing accurate true speed data, but are only proving to slow down a few drivers who stick close to the speed limit to begin with.

Road Watch (Ontario) is a very successful program, not limited to volunteers, but consisting of all residents directly affected by bad driving habits, that can call in, or e-mail in an offending vehicle form, from a “bad” driver on any road, at anytime and have some form of action taken towards the offending vehicle owner.

This form of program is successful for many reasons, but the most appealing is the fact that any resident affected by an offending driver can register the complaint and have it dealt with in a fashion that might deter future repeat complaints. When an offending driver receives a letter in the mail from the Police, stating that his vehicle isn’t being driven in an appropriate fashion, they realize they are being watched, and there is a very good chance that they will change their bad habits.

The program is so successful, that nearly all of the Province of Ontario has implemented it. The program runs 24/7, 365 days of the year. The best part is, that it allows those who are directly affected to voice their concerns by sending in their complaint forms and feeling a sense of accomplishment towards making their community and neighborhoods a better safer place for all.

The Province of British Columbia needs to replace Speedwatch with Road Watch.

We are all aware of the bad driving habits, we don’t need speed reader boards to temporarily deter drivers from speeding, we need to let aggressive drivers know they are being monitored, and we won’t stand for it.

ICBC, please trash Speedwatch, and bring on Road Watch.

Along with Road Watch, bring on some form of traffic law enforcement to let aggressive drivers know that they will be ticketed for their bad driving habits.

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