While the City of Grande Prairie has seen the number of speeders drop of the past couple of year, it wants to see them go down even further. Local bylaw officers will be spending the next month focused on speeding vehicles, as Sergeant Ross Gear says it’s still an issue in the city.
“It’s still one of the big causes of collisions in Grande Prairie… not just in the city but in the County area as well, so we have to stay on this.”
Photo radar returned to Grande Prairie in late 2015, and Enforcement Services saw a 31 per cent decrease in the number of speed infraction tickets given out that way between 2016 and 2017. Gear stresses that speeding within city limits is unnecessary and especially dangerous in close quarters.
“You should expect pedestrians, you should expect other vehicles, and speeding really doesn’t get you very far. The time it takes to get across the city if you speed versus the time it takes to get across the city if you don’t speed really isn’t that much different.”
The same goes for provincial highways. Alberta RCMP Traffic Services notes that going 120 kilometres in a 100 kilometre an hour zone will save a driver two minutes over 25 kilometres, while upping the likelihood of being in a fatal collision.
“In reality, speeding will not save you that much time,” argues Alberta Sheriffs Traffic Operations Superintendent Rick Gardner. “The extra two minutes you might save is not worth significantly increasing your chances of a serious collision.”
A World Health Organization report done in 2008 found a five per cent increase in average speed leads to a 20 per cet increase in the likelihood of a fatal collision. In 2015, a quarter of all fatal crashes on Alberta roads involved someone driving too fast for the conditions.
In Grande Prairie, the maximum speed limit is 50 kilometres an hour unless otherwise posted. School zones are down to 30 kilometres an hour from 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on school days, and playground zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. until one hour after sunset.