LETTER: Increase Saanich Police Department budget to calm traffic

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Speeding along the Cordova Bay corridor is an all to frequent occurrence, to which many a resident will testify. Numerous complaints have been brought to the attention of not only by the police but also to Saanich council and staff. Police reports on record clearly highlight speeds of 105 km/h on Cordova Bay Road (a 40 km/h limit, for the most part) and 126 km/h on Fowler Road (a 50 km/h limit).

RELATED: Saanich man crashes after driving 120 km/h near elementary school

Speed is not just about vehicles travelling in excess of the posted limits; all too often these roads are used like a Grand Prix racetrack. What is surprising is that we don’t have more accidents, the likes of which occurred on January 8. And yet, little is done to moderate this extremely dangerous practice; enforcement is limited, to say the least. To paraphrase Sgt. Leslie, someone using the sidewalk could easily be injured or killed.

RELATED: VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

It is to be hoped that our new, energized mayor and council will take heed and direct engineering to have effective traffic calming measures installed along the full length of this thoroughfare and empower the police to step up its enforcement of our traffic speed bylaws.

That said, I have to acknowledge that I believe the Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit is under–resourced, both in terms of officers and equipment (i.e. reader boards, etc.). Traffic issues appear to be on the rise as more than 300 tickets issued by the SPD in the first two weeks of 2019 and more than 50 crashes attended. Officers of the Traffic Safety Unit, working on our behalf, are thinly stretched and need encouragement from our municipal hall.

RELATED: WATCH: 25 consecutive drivers treat Saanich stop sign as optional

As a resident, and one that’s just as grumpy as any other taxpayer, I would be supportive of increasing the SPD budget if we could be assured that such additional measures would be put to use in the area of traffic enforcement. Together with traffic calming, Saanich council can lead the way towards safer roads for all its citizens.

Such measures are long overdue – we need action now before it’s too late and we’re faced with yet another tragic accident in our neighbourhood.

Alex Izett,

Saanich

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