With a warning that drivers “need to slow down” near schools, York Region is ramping up efforts to enforce speed limits in community safety zones by installing speed cameras.
Under a two-year pilot project, the Region will use automated speed enforcement (ASE) systems featuring a camera and speed measurement device to detect and capture images of speeding vehicles. The systems could be rolled out as early as May in locations that have been identified as the highest potential risk for schoolchildren following reviews of traffic volume, school population and travel speed.
“This is another tool we can use to increase safety, protecting some of the most vulnerable people on our roads – our students walking to and from school,” says Regional Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Speed limits are set for a reason and when people exceed speed limits, especially in community safety zones, they put everyone at risk.”
ASE signs will be installed on regional roads 90 days in advance of activating a camera to inform motorists of the upcoming change. The mobile unit will rotate monthly among 12 community safety zones covering 19 schools, including Old Homestead Road (St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Elementary School), Mount Albert Road (Mount Albert Public School) and Leslie Street (Sharon P.S.).
The unit will also make its way to Mulock Drive (Newmarket High School), Wellington Street (St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic H.S., Aurora H.S., and Aurora Senior P.S.), Bloomington Road (Ecole Secondaire Catholique Renaissance, Cardinal Carter C.H.S.), Bloomington Road (Whitchurch Highlands P.S.), King Road (King City P.S., King City Secondary School), Bayview Avenue ( Bayview S.S., Jean Vanier C.H.S., Richmond Hill Christian Academy and Holy Trinity School), Weston Road (St. Jean De Brebeuf C.H.S.) Rutherford Road (Emily Carr S.S.) and Hwy. 7 (St. Patrick C.E.S.).
“More than 90 per cent of pedestrians involved in a vehicle collision result in injuries or fatalities,” says Township of King Mayor Steve Pellegrini, Chair of the Region’s Transportation Services. “This technology will help reinforce the message that motorists need to slow down.”
Regional staff will review data from the pilot project, including change in driver behaviour, review of technology and the impact on courts, with a report to Regional Council later this year. Learn more about road safety programs at york.ca/traffic. The City of Toronto revealed its first ASE sign late last year and can begin issuing tickets to vehicle owners in mid-March.