As I canvas different parts of the ward, I’m hearing frequent complaints about voters and their children put at almost risk by drivers speeding through residential neighbourhoods.
Based on personal experience — we have low-rise speed bumps on the narrow street in front of our Ward 9 Victoria Park home — I’m convinced more research should be done to find better ways to slow those drivers down.
Sometimes, Canada geese and ducks meandering across park roads seem more effective at traffic calming than speed bumps.
To help focus attention on that ongoing, dangerous situation, I wrote the following letter to the editor at the Waterloo Region Record using the subject of red-light cameras as a way to draw attention to those reckless drivers.
The letter was published today (Thursday):
“After experiencing several scary near-collisions at Kitchener intersections because impatient or negligent drivers ran red lights, I almost choked on my Cheerios reading Jeff Outhit’s predictable bleating about red-light cameras.
Outhit — risking whiplash from driving both ways at once — says research shows 16 cameras at regional intersections are improving safety and reducing accidents. He then pontificates about “judicious” use of cameras because they should be a safety measure, not a government cash cow.
His concern is based on the fact cameras that result in $325 individual fines have become a healthy revenue source that, this year, provided a $1 million windfall for regional government. Outhit worries drivers might become cynical about cameras if they see them as a government cash grab.
Give me a break.
Red-light cameras improve road safety and we need more, particularly at intersections located near schools, parks or residential neighbourhoods.
The region should use some of that dollar deluge to research more effective traffic-calming devices.
Such devices could help improve safety in Mill Courtland, St. Mary’s, Cherry Hill, Cedar Hill, Victoria Park and numerous other neighbourhoods where residents have, for years, been complaining about speeding, dangerous drivers.
Frank Etherington, candidate for Kitchener City Council (Ward 9).”