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Police crackdown on speeders won't last long

May 3, 2016 4:31 A.M.
Accidents like this one cause injuries and take lives on Westsyde Road.

A NewsKamloops editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THANK YOU to Kamloops RCMP for their crackdown on speeding on Halston and Westsyde Roads. Both are notorious for drivers who go way over the speed limit.

Halston is supposed to be 70 km/h but 90 is a common speed. The curve heading east into the commercial section as it approaches the traffic light can be especially dicey as drivers switch lanes. Heading west across the bridge, an electronic light alerts drivers to the sudden reduction in the limit and gives them a reading on their speed but, of course, unenforced lights are easy to ignore. During rush hour, when traffic backs up on Halson waiting to merge onto Eighth Street, there’s often some driver daring-do as commuters try to save 15 seconds on the way home.

Westsyde Road is even worse. The posted speed limit is 60; the common speed is 80 in the stretch starting north of Oak Hills and going south towards the Halston intersection. It looks like a highway, so people drive it like one. It is a four-lane major thoroughfare through a mostly residential neighbourhood that never should have been wider than two lanes. A narrowing project proposed several years ago was shot down when City council gave in to Westsyde residents who strenuously objected.

It remains a dangerous road in which pedestrians have often been hit in crosswalks by careless and speeding drivers. When they aren't hitting pedestrians, they're crashing into each other.

So, Mr. Policeman (and woman), hand out those tickets. Make sure everyone knows you’re doing it.  And drivers will slow down, at least for a week or two until they know this latest crackdown has run its course.

They all do. There’s much fanfare and assurances that police are on the job and going after the culprits. But, of course, it won’t last. After things have settled down, RCMP will move on to their next campaign, and Westsyde and Halston Roads will return to normal — which is everyone driving about 20 clicks over the limit.

Got an opinion? Leave a comment here or write to letters@newskamloops.com.

Craig Richardson says:
May 3, 2016 03:29pm

I don't like that speed trap at the end of the halston.. yes... when cars come off a highway doing 90km into an industrial zone doing 50 they will nab lots. However in my 54 years I've never seen an accident there. Why not put valuable police resources to better use like people dying on fentanyl, people selling drugs at schools, people getting bear sprayed for parking downtown, people leaving bar parking lots drunk at 1am behind the wheel, just sooo many better possible uses of police resources than hiding in a bush at the end of a highway.

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Stewart Duncan says:
May 3, 2016 09:52am

TIME FOR A RAYLEIGH-WESTSYDE BRIDGE
I think Josh understands Westsyde Road problems better than the Armchair Mayor. One route for Westsyde is woefully inadequate and reducing the byway to one congested lane each way would result in a spike in accidents. Pedestrians and cross-traffic wouldn't be able to get onto Westsyde because of the continuous stream of vehicles. Long-term solution, which we should push for now, is a bridge from the Rayleigh area to Westsyde. Can't happen too soon.

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Pierre Filisetti says:
May 3, 2016 07:10am

Drive over the Port Mann and accurately they take your plate number...the technology is there to keep dangerous speeders at bay 24/7. In the meantime the RCMP need to have a more "consistent" presence.

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Josh says:
May 3, 2016 05:42am

Mr. Rothenberg er must not love in westsyde.

It doesn't take a traffic engineer to understand that a neighbourhood of
Almost 8000 will need more than two lanes to accommodate traffic volumes. Brock has two roads, Aberdeen has 3, barnheartvale,2.Westsyde has Westsyde road.

When multiple pedestrians were getting hit on tranquille road, the city improved lighting on the entire route. When westsyde had a rash of incidents last year the city improved lighting on the two walks where the incidents happened. (One of which was a poorly lit crosswalk on the other side of a blind corner, which makes me question why it even exists)

I narrowly avoided a young girl whom decided it wasn't a requirement to activate the crosswalk signals at night. Never seem to hear whether the lights were active at the time of the incident, as all eyes and efforts are focused on the pedestrian's emergency.

It's unfair to paint westsyde residents as careless racers. You know better. Bad things happen, when police state that "speed was a factor" they are saying that there are multiple factors that result in accidents, and speed is rarely the only one.

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Diane Fleming says:
May 3, 2016 09:37am

Josh,
You hit the nail on the head: we only have one road in and out of Westsyde and Westsyde is growing all the time. I travel this road on a regular basis and while most people drive a tad over the speed limit, a handful of them are very agresssive drivers. It matters not where you are, there will always be agressive drivers. For Mel and Pierre: For the size of Kamloops, there are only about 130 RCMP officers and I heard quite of few of them are not on active duty for various health issues. in my humble opinion, would need at least 10 officers doing traffic related duties 24/7 to be able to make a difference. That's never going to happen. Besides, the RCMP numbers are dropping all over Canada and the recruiting is down too.

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