Excuses provided to officers by speeding drivers in Halton have police taking notes.
The Halton Regional Police Service says it laid 126 charges, including distracted driving, speeding, interfering with traffic and impaired operation of a motor vehicle, during a one-day blitz Wednesday, March 29.
Part one of the service’s Project Safe Commute was enforced by Halton Regional Police’s District Response Units (DRU) from Milton, Oakville and Burlington, which dedicated a total of 76 hours of enforcement at 13 “identified” high-risk zones.
Police held the blitz to address concerns that Halton residents have about aggressive driving, particularly during morning and afternoon commutes, according to Sgt. Paul Rudall, DRU Milton.
Officers targeted those driving behaviours that place road users at the greatest risk, namely distracted driving, aggressive driving, drivers and passengers failing to wear seatbelts, and speeding.
Some drivers stopped by police provided officers with a variety of reasons as to why they were allegedly disobeying the rules of the road.
These, according to Rudall, included: “OK, let me explain: I was out on a test drive and yeah, I pushed the gas,” and “My phone rang three times and I didn’t answer it. I answered it when it rang again and told her I was driving and she was going to get me arrested … three seconds later, you were knocking on my window.”
A driver stopped for allegedly speeding in a construction zone with workers present stated: “I’m late for a dentist appointment. My husband is out of the country. Isn’t there anything you can do?”
A motorist, said to be driving in a rental vehicle, claimed the reason for travelling in excess of the speed limit was because the car “goes much faster than my own.” Another stated: “I was having a leg cramp and was trying to stretch it out so it caused me to accelerate.”
Officers, noted Rudall, were asked to make notes of the reasons drivers gave to excuse their behaviour.
“This was done for two reasons, firstly to highlight that none of the reasons were urgent and warranted the drivers placing themselves and other road users at greater risk, and secondly to encourage a dialogue that might change driver behaviour to improve safety and the safety of the wider community.”
Added Rudall: “We recognize that Halton residents are concerned about traffic safety; we will continue to do our best to charge those drivers who choose to ignore the speed limits disobey signs and drive aggressively.”
Police remind motorists that community safety is a shared responsibility and that each driver plays a key role in ensuring that their next commute is a safe one.
Project Safe Commute and others are part of HRPS’s broader Community First policing philosophy that focuses on four principles of (community) safety and well-being: Emergency Response, Risk Intervention, Prevention, and Social Development.