Is speeding a concern in your neighbourhood?

This article, from August 4, contains information related to an increase in aggressive driving in residential neighbourhoods and a message from Councillor Danko.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

One concern from residents that we hear regularly about at the Ward 8 office is speeding in residential neighbourhoods, putting many at risk.

We’ve had an increase of reports of local drivers speeding during the pandemic, as there are fewer cars on the road and it seems some are taking advantage of that fact.

Below we’ve provided information on who to call when you encounter aggressive/speeding drivers and also a message from Councillor John-Paul Danko on an initiative he has started with Traffic Operations regarding the addressing of Neighbourhood Traffic Calming.

For more details, please continue reading below…

As mentioned, the Ward 8 office has received  an increase of reports of local drivers speeding during the pandemic, as there are fewer cars on the road and some people are getting used to regularly driving over the limit. We understand that Hamilton Police are doing what they can to enforce ‘speeding over the limit’, known as a ‘moving violation’ (By-law can only enforce parking violations).

As the police do not see every speeder, especially in residential neighbourhoods, it is important that residents report any instances of aggressive driver behaviour to the police. Hamilton Police then use this data to determine where to apply their resources, as the municipality does not determine that.

Slower Speeds Coming to Hamilton Neighbourhoods

The Hamilton Police Service reminds us that they have an Aggressive Driver Hotline (905-546-1768) that you can use to report non-emergency traffic violations.  When calling the number, you are asked to leave a message with a licence plate number, a brief car description (colour and type) and an outline of the complaint. You do not have to identify yourself, though it is helpful to the investigator if you do. You can also report incidents online, via aggressivedriver@hamiltonpolice.on.ca.

You can call or email the hotline to report such dangerous behaviour as:

  • driving too quickly along residential streets
  • distracted drivers talking on cell phones
  • running red lights or stop signs
  • street racing
  • drivers cutting off motorists or cyclists

According to the HPS website, “if the information contained in the summary conforms to the definition of a Highway Traffic Act violation, a letter is sent to the registered owner of the stated motor vehicle advising them of the incident in question.”

In some cases “more substantial” action may take place, such as a visit from an officer. A report to the hotline won’t lead directly to a charge or arrest, but it does mean that an aggressive driver may receive a warning.

Additional numbers to note:

Police Non-Emergency General 905-546-4925 / Division 30 – 905-546-4930  Switchboard

Traffic Branch: 905-546-4756

Collison Reporting: Rymal Road Location 905-385-2426 M-F 10-6pm

Automated Speed Enforcement set to hit city streets

 

The Ward 8 Office  also have Community SLOW DOWN Signs.

The SLOW DOWN signs are a reminder for drivers in a residential neighbourhood to slow down, as children may be at play. It is recommended to move them every week, so drivers don’t get used to seeing them as part of the landscape. Neighbours often share in this project.

You can contact our office and we will happily deliver signs to you.

Below is a message from Councillor John-Paul Danko regarding traffic enforcement and safety in Ward 8 neighbourhoods:

Speeding, parking and traffic infractions are the most frequent concerns we receive. Traffic issues have increased during COVID as there is less vehicles on the roads and more space for drivers to speed and drive recklessly.  Over the past year and a half, I have been working closely with our public works staff to implement policy that helps address these issues. While there is significant work to do, we are making progress.

In this past year Council recognized the issue of lack of traffic enforcement and approved Hamilton Police Services’ budget to hire eight new dedicated traffic enforcement officers. At our last Council meeting we received an update from Chief Girt confirming the hiring of these dedicated traffic enforcement officers and details on their specific duties which include speeding enforcement and all other related moving vehicle violations (ie. fail to stop at a controlled intersection, dangerous or aggressive driving etc.)

We are also in the process of implementing automated speed enforcement (photo-radar) in community safety zones. While there will only be enforcement in dedicated areas, automated speed enforcement is an effective tool proven to influence driver behaviour to slow down City wide.

The first year of the three year 40 km/h neighbourhood speed reduction program has now been completed, with the second year now underway. Staff will also be evaluating the posted speed limits on the City’s arterial roadways – such as West 5th, Upper James and the Claremont Access.

I was also successful in having the Ward 8 dedicated parking enforcement program extended for an additional year. This program allows us to be as proactive as possible with parking enforcement.

Public works staff are also currently in the process of finalizing a detailed road safety evaluation protocol that will better address systemic neighbourhood traffic issues and allow for a wider range of vision zero safety improvements. Here in Ward 8 I have been working closely with our Traffic Operations staff to finalize the terms of reference to hire a traffic control engineering firm that will evaluate neighbourhood road networks throughout the ward and develop a prioritized list of traffic calming measures that could be implemented.  This evaluation was originally supposed to be tendered in March, but has been delayed due to COVID.

I also have a minimum of $1.5M in Ward 8 area rating funds dedicated to finance immediate upgrades as soon as a specific list of recommendations are available. While $1.5M will not cover all upgrades that will need to be made, it is my intention to do as many as possible as quickly as possible. I had planned to have this work underway for the 2022 construction season – but again that may be delayed due to COVID.

The Ward 8 Office wants to thank residents for reporting infractions to our office, and we recommend you continue to report any infractions and aggressive driving or speeding in your neighbourhood with the Hamilton Police’s Aggressive Driver Hotline.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.