TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Ralph Warman and Debbie English with the Citizens on Patrol Program are reflected in a SpeedWatch display board while monitoring motorists’ speeds along Richmond Avenue at 22nd Street as part of the MPI SpeedWatch campaign as school lets out for the day on Tuesday.
Some Brandon drivers still seem to step a little hard on the gas, even when their speed is being tracked and posted on a sign.
"Everybody’s got a heavy foot," said Ralph Warman, chairman of the Brandon Citizens on Patrol Program. "No matter where you set up, you’re going to find somebody that’s actually doing a little bit over the speed limit."
Yellow-vested COPP members were out with speed-recording display boards on Tuesday afternoon as part of SpeedWatch.
Nineteen groups in 14 Manitoba communities used the display boards to check drivers’ speeds.
Radar records the vehicle speed and posts it to a digital sign so the driver can see and, hopefully, use the reminder to slow down if needed.
COPP members set up a radar sign at the corner of 22nd Street and Richmond Avenue.
The sign was up between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., which includes the time that children would use the crosswalk at the corner to return home from nearby Meadows School.
During that two hours, COPP members recorded the speeds of 1,063 vehicles and noted that 209 (19.7 per cent) were travelling above the 50 km/h speed limit.
The highest speed recorded was 69 km/h. A police officer stationed in a squad car further west clocked that vehicle as it accelerated to 71 km/h, pulled it over and gave the driver a ticket.
But the purpose of the radar sign is educational and intended to prompt drivers to slow down if they’re going too fast.
That seems to work in some cases as Warman said 160 cars were recorded at 42 km/h to 46 km/h. One vehicle was as low as 23 km/h, although it may have been recorded as it started to accelerate after stopping at a nearby stop sign.
The Brandon COPP group is equipped with two radar signs, thanks to Manitoba Public Insurance.
It runs regular speed checks at about 17 sites near schools, or selected on the basis of previous speed statistics and public complaints.
Between late March and the end of September, COPP tracked the speed of more than 20,000 vehicles.
Warman roughly estimates that 35 per cent (about 7,000 vehicles) were speeding.
Problem spots for fast-moving motorists include 13th Street beside the Keystone Centre grounds, and the 600-block of 26th Street.
Warman said Richmond Avenue, Victoria Avenue and Victoria Avenue East are also favourite stretches for speeders.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 31, 2013