A total of 1,681 collisions in Hamilton last year resulted in injuries, while 16 were fatal

Hamilton police will be handing out this postcard as part of a year-long campaign to encourage drivers not to speed. (City of Hamilton)

Hamilton’s road safety committee has launched a year-long campaign aimed at slamming the brakes on a leading cause of collisions that result in thousands of injuries each year — speeding.

The Speed Kills campaign, launched by the city and Hamilton police, will cost an estimated $100,000 and include a series of videos and ads encouraging courteous and safe driving. Residents are also being asked to sign a road safety pledge promising not to commit any of the following infractions:

  • Speeding.
  • Aggressive driving.
  • Distracted driving.
  • Driving under the influence.

There are an average of 3,600 reportable collisions recorded each year in Hamilton, according to the committee. Last year, 1,681 of those crashes resulted in injuries, while 16 were fatal.

“Those numbers were a red flag for us as a group and identified that we needed to do something going forward to change that type of behaviour,” said David Ferguson, the city’s superintendent of traffic engineering.

The Red Hill Valley Parkway and the Lincoln Alexander Parkway are especially notorious areas where drivers tend to have a heavy foot, he added.

Between December 2015 and February 2018, 8,101 offences handed out on the parkways were directly related to speeding — 53 per cent of those incidents involving drivers doing 30 km/h or more over the posted speed limit.

In one recent incident, a 29-year-old Hamilton man driving a Dodge Ram pickup was clocked travelling 177 km/h on the parkway in April. His licence was suspended and vehicle impounded.

Officials have already taken several steps to curtail speeding on the roadways.

For example, standard-sized speed limit signs were replaced with giant versions in 2016, following a safety review. The city is also resurfacing the highways over the next four years, and as it does, it’s installing rumble strips.

The families of people who have died on the highways are also calling on the city to look at installing concrete barriers.

Ferguson said the team behind the new campaign are hoping raising awareness will make the difference.

“We’re really looking for a social change when it comes to driver behaviour,” he explained. “There’s no ramifications if you sign the pledge and get caught speeding … it’s solely about raising awareness and taking on responsibility as motorists ourselves”

Source: CBC News