VERNON - You can’t completely hide your speed from the cops anymore, even if they aren’t there to catch you in the act.
Drivers will notice a new speed reader board circulating around the North Okanagan. The $10,000 gadget was purchased by the cities of Armstrong, Enderby and Township of Spallumcheen as a way to counteract speeding in their communities.
“I see the impacts of collisions every single day that I work,” Sgt. Rob Daly says. “When I’m looking at crash data, speed is almost always a factor... It makes the difference between swerving, stopping, or having no choice but to hit.”
Already this year, North Okanagan RCMP have caught 22 drivers for excessive speeding, compared to a total of 25 in 2013. That offense carries a mandatory seven day vehicle impoundment and over $300 fine. There are other worse consequences of speeding: damaged property, injuries, loss of life.
“It can be tragic,” Daly says of speed related fatalities. “If this tool prevents even one of those, I’m a happy guy.”
The mobile unit will be used in areas that are experiencing high levels of collisions, speeding or in areas where the safety of others is at risk due to lighting, road design or pedestrian volume.
“Drivers often get tunnel vision to signage or other items along the roadway,” Warren Smith, with the Safe Communities Unit says.
You never know where the speed reader board will be, which prevents it from getting ignored.
The other benefit to the board is its ability to record traffic patterns, including how many vehicles were speeding during specific times of the day.
The machine won’t record your license plate, and police won’t be able to track you down, but they could be waiting for you on the other side of the speed reader during peak hours of the day.
The data could give authorities reason to add traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps or roundabouts, in problem areas.
“At the end of the day, we want to improve the quality of life for our residents, users of the area and ideally we want to create safer streets,” Smith says.
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