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EDITORIAL: Follow the rules of the road

Traffic lights.
- 123RF Stock Photo

If property taxes aren’t high enough, bad drivers in Charlottetown are also doing their part to make sure the municipal coffers are healthy.

In April, city police issued 66 speeding tickets and several tickets to motorists for failing to come to a complete stop at a Stop sign or running a red light.

Also known as non-speeding moving violations, rolling stops and running red lights are a head scratcher. University Avenue at Belvedere is another bad spot for these offences with five tickets issued in April. Five tickets were also issued at the St. Peters Road and Angus Drive area. The most dangerous aspect of these offences is drivers speeding up at a yellow light rather than slowing down and the potential for T-boning vehicles turning left at an intersection.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that University Avenue between Enman Crescent and the UPEI entrance was the city’s speeding hot spot with 18 tickets issued.

The astonishing part is that only 18 drivers were caught in April.

Most days, it’s easy to tell which drivers are doing the speed limit – they’re the ones being passed. Anyone visiting Charlottetown for the first time can’t be blamed for thinking that University Avenue is our own German Autobahn.

Other hot spots were also main routes in the city – Fourth Street, Brackley Point Road, Lower Malpeque Road, Mount Edward Road and North River Road.

The fact that so many people are speeding by UPEI’s entrance road is not acceptable. It’s a serious safety concern with so many students getting on or off city buses. As well, students are constantly crossing University Avenue at that intersection to access the campus.

Besides UPEI, speeding in front of schools is also a problem. Recently, city council raised the issue and proposed extending the hours that the 30 km/h speed limit was in place.

Granted, police can’t be everywhere. And it is nice to see that people are getting caught for breaking the rules of the road. But we’ve all had experiences of seeing bad drivers with no police around.

With the extra gas tax money the city is receiving, an option is investing in photo radar in some areas, especially in front of schools. Similar to other parts of Canada, the province could chip in on the costs. Yes, they’re expensive. But they work, and the signs notifying drivers that a photo radar zone is coming up are usually enough to scare anyone into slowing down.

In places that use photo radar, speeders get their ticket in the mail along with a photo of their car.

Increasing police enforcement and penalties for violators are ways to improve drivers’ behaviour.

Of course, the simplest solutions are for drivers to slow down, come to complete stops and follow the law. Unfortunately, that seems easier said than done.

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