One way or another Brant County councillors want to put the brakes on speeders.
Councillors voted in favour of having county staff look for ways to get motorists to slow down using the three ‘E’s – education, engineering and enforcement. The motion came after a lengthy, passionate debate last week initiated by a recommendation from the public works committee.
The committee called for staff to look for solutions to speed and traffic issues on Willow Street (north end), Washington Street, Silver Street, Cobblestone Drive and West River Street in Paris.
Coun. Robert Chambers had an issue with the recommendation and suggested an amendment. He suggested they look at 60 other roads in the county.
During the subsequent debate, Chambers acknowledged that his amendment was a way of making a political point.
However, he defended his actions.
“Speeding is an issue for the entire county,” Chambers said. “If we’re going to look for solutions then we should be looking for solutions for the entire county.
“We shouldn’t be picking and choosing just a few.”
When the original motion to have the Paris roads studied and his amendment were rejected by councillors, Chambers suggested staff use the three ‘E’ approach – education, engineering and enforcement – to find solutions to speeding for the county.
The resolution received enough support to pass, but Ward 5 Coun. Brian Coleman couldn’t support it.
“I like a lot of what’s in this resolution,” Coleman said. “But I don’t think it should be up to our public works staff to solve this problem.
“This is something our police services should be doing not our public works staff.”
Public works staff should be making sure potholes are filled and county roads are plowed, he said.
Still, while councillors are united in believing something needs to be done to get motorists to slow down, they differ on how it could be accomplished.
During an earlier discussion about a Brant Police Services Board report, Coleman wanted to know why Brant OPP handed out more warnings during a traffic enforcement initiative on Burtch Road in the fall.
Coleman noted that during a month-long effort to address speeding on Burtch Road and Mt. Pleasant Road, OPP officers issued six tickets and eight warnings.
A similar initiative in Paris resulted in seven tickets and 15 warnings.
Coleman wanted to know why police were handing out more warnings than tickets.
A ticket, he said, is a deterrent. A warning, not so much.
Ward 1 Coun. John Wheat agreed.
“Warnings don’t work. Tickets do,” Wheat said But other councillors said there are other ways of reducing speed including the use of technology.
Insp. Lisa Anderson, the Brant OPP Detachment commander, told the Expositor she looks forward to working with county council to explore the many different options available to make roads safer.
“I’m proud of the hard work and dedication of the members of the Brant County OPP,” Anderson said. “In 2018, uniform members wrote 3,958 provincial offences notices for numerous different driving violations and handed out several warnings while performing their duties.
“All members of the OPP, while conducting enforcement initiatives and regular patrol, have the ability to stop vehicles for violations and use their discretion to decide if the situation warrants a provincial offences notice or a warning.”
Brant County OPP officers removed 65 impaired drivers from area roads in 2018, she added.
Source: Brantford Expositor