Speeding of traffic through communities in District 18 is a safety concern. More “speed radar” signs are requested – at least one for every community – and a great RCMP presence.
Budget Estimates – Hansard: May 11, 2018 (page 31 of 52)
Mr. Trivers: Thank you, Chair. I’ve been waiting for this section to come up, as per your request. This is, I believe, in the right section now.For the last couple of years, and we’ve talked about this on the floor several times, is communities are coming to me and they’re saying: We really would like to see the speed reduced within our community, small communities everywhere from New Glasgow to Stanley Bridge to Wheatley River. One thing they’re saying, there’s a number of things they think that could be done as opposed to big capital projects like building a roundabout like we’re seeing at the Newton and Scales Pond Road. They’re saying: What if you took and you put up those stop signs that are really well lit up with the flashing lights? What if you put in speed radar signs so people know how much speed they’re doing? They really feel – rumble strips and things
like this – they really feel that that could really slow down traffic. I’m not really seeing any of those things being put into those communities. If they are, they’re going through municipalities, which is good, like North Rustico put them in and that sort of
thing. I was wondering if you have any budget here to address, really, the speed through these communities to improve safety.
Ms. Biggar: When we talk about reducing speed, it’s a culmination of different types of what we call traffic-calming projects, one of which are roundabouts. It is proven that it does slow down traffic and reduces accidents, and just to address that comment. Now, with certain communities we have worked with them to do different things like overhead lights on certain intersections and a number of those different things. So, we do continue to work with them on specific things. In terms of putting speed down below what is proven – like if you talk with the RCMP, we have – our safety committee deals with the RCMP. It’s proven that lowering, lowering, lowering does not mean it’s going to reduce speed in a community. I know what you’re – you’re lobbying for these digital signs all across the Island. They are helpful. We have worked with communities
to do that. We’ll continue to do that.
Mr. Trivers: So can you commit here today that there’s actually money in this budget so you can add these speed radar signs to, say, coming into the community of New Glasgow? Coming into the community of Wheatley River? Because I don’t know how much they cost, but I would say your department says time and time again, I think you might have even said on the floor: If you save even one life then it’s worth the expense. This is a relatively low-cost item and I think it could help a lot. I agree with you. The Scales Pond Road and Newton Road roundabout, other than the huge expense of $900,000, I think is going to be a good thing to help slow traffic and reduce accidents there. But, obviously we can’t put roundabouts in through most communities. Will you commit to actually getting some of these speed radar signs?
Ms. Biggar: Hon. member, under our materials, supplies and services we do have a budget line under signage for $208,900,
and that will encompass all of those types of things in regard to other support structure, reflective materials – so there is a budget line in there. It’s reviewing and looking at the area that needs to be addressed. There is a budget line. You asked, I believe, if there was a budget line, but I’m not making a commitment today on any specific community.
Mr. Trivers: I made this request and I made it before. I made the request to you. Are there other people I should lobby and so we can get some action on this?
Ms. Biggar: Well, we’ll work together as a department with the community.
Mr. Trivers: Last time I checked, I represent the community.
Ms. Biggar: We will work with the community.
Mr. Trivers: For the unincorporated area, at least in my district, so I’m here on behalf of the community asking you to put those in.
Ms. Biggar: Thank you. I’ll take that under advisement.
Budget Estimates: Hansard May 10, 2018 (page 75 of 83)
Mr. Trivers: Thanks, Chair. One thing that I’ve noticed really helps a lot within communities, especially with the lower speed limits under 50 kilometers an hour – and I think we’ve discussed this before – are the speed radar signs. Is there budget here in the safety area to buy more of these radar signs to put in the smaller communities across the province? I know especially in District 18 there’s a number of them that would just love to have that, and I think it would really, really help when people come into the community to slow them down.
Ms. Biggar: It’s not in this section. This section is to promote safe conditions about licensing of drivers. It’s actually under the section of traffic. It’s under traffic. When we get to traffic –
Mr. Trivers: Okay, thank you.
Ms. Biggar: – we can talk about it more, but just to answer it now, we do deal with those on a one-off basis as there’s nothing in the budget line, no, for those to say we’re going to buy ten of those digital radars this year, but we do deal with the community as it comes up.
Mr. Trivers: Thank you, Chair. I realize this is in the traffic operations. It’s just something that I’ve been asking for for a couple of years now, and if you want I can email you the names of the communities where they’re needed.
Ms. Biggar: Well, we –
Mr. Trivers: If that’ll help.
Ms. Biggar: We do work closely with the communities, so – thank you, though.
Mr. Trivers: I hear that, but –
Ms. Biggar: Thank you.
Mr. Trivers: – they don’t have the speed radar signs yet, so –
Ms. Biggar: Thank you.
Mr. Trivers: Anyhow.
Mr. Myers: I’m looking for one on the 48 Road.
Mr. Trivers: I’ll wait for traffic (Indistinct)
Chair: Thanks. The hon. Leader of the Third Party.
Ms. Biggar: And I’ll talk about the philosophy around speed reduction later, when we get to that section.
Mr. Trivers: Okay. We will. We’ll talk. We need (Indistinct) –
Response to Speech from the Throne: December 12, 2017 (page 33 of 72)
Mr. Trivers: […] The other thing I want to talk about is looking at speed radar signs. Road safety is a problem in every single community in my
district. I hear about it from every single community. Some of them have managed to get these speed radar signs so that that tracks your speed when you’re coming into a community. There is absolutely no reason, given the cost of the signs, why we cannot have a speed radar sign in every community where we have a speed limit that is constantly being broken. It’s not expensive. It’s action that can be taken now. I call upon this government to take that action now to place speed radar signs in every community that asks for them. […]
Email Sent July 18, 2017
“>>> Bradley Trivers 07/18/17 10:01 AM >>>
I am writing you with respect to your portfolios as Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Minister of Transportation because motor vehicle speeding continues to be an issue in almost all communities in my district. This includes New London, Stanley Bridge, Breadalbane, New Glasgow, and even Hunter River (where speed radar signs are already installed). By the way, thank you for any work you did to get a speed radar sign in North Rustico.
Speed radar signs do help reduce the speed of motorists, and I would urge you to provide them to all communities that desire them.
Also, I would ask that you strongly consider immediately bringing back the RCMP Traffic Services Unit that was cancelled a few years ago (e.g. as per Mr. Dumville’s request in the legislature in December 2015 – see the hansard by clicking here):
“Mr. Dumville: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Minister, in the past couple of years the RCMP has disbanded its five-member traffic services unit. In light of these tragedies, would the minister consider discussing this with the commander of the RCMP and see about reinstating this traffic service that concentrates solely on traffic violations?
Speaker: The hon. Premier. Premier MacLauchlan: Minister of Justice and Public Safety.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That unit was disbanded but it wasn’t to lower the effort on traffic safety, but it in fact was to make an effective coordinated effort between the RCMP and the municipal police forces throughout the province. It’s indeed that collaboration that’s behind the Road to Zero policy. The past year has undoubtedly been a tragic one and one for families and communities, and it’s one I think we must deal with very sensitively, but it’s also a matter of public education. In seven of those fatalities the person who died, the deceased, was not wearing a seatbelt. I think we all have to be thinking about how we can raise public education to ensure that we’ve got better safety on our highways, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.”
Budget Estimates: April 28, 2017 (page 40 of 56)
Mr. Trivers: Thank you, Chair. Speeding is a huge issue in District 18, Rustico-Emerald, and I’d imagine many other places on the Island, especially going through communities.
Ms. Biggar: Yeah.
Mr. Trivers: In my district I have got lots of different communities; Rustico, North Rustico, Breadalbane, Wheatley River, Hunter River, Stanley Bridge, New London. Almost every one of them, Emerald, they say, people are going through, they’re not obeying the speed limit. I mean I’ve talked to your department many times about this on behalf of the various different communities. I do understand that speed is often a subject of the slope of the road and how naturally it is to travel at that speed and all these sorts of things. One thing that we have talked about with the department and I know we have traded emails, too, minister, is use of the speed radar signs. Basically, they tell you what your speed is. In particular the ones that if you are going over the speed limit they have the lights that flash at you. Those have proven to be, at least, somewhat effective in slowing down vehicles. The problem is, of course, there are not many of them. I know for municipalities, you basically said: You’re on your own. You have got to find money in your budget to buy those and put them in. That would have been covered under the infrastructure section here, more money allocated to that. In the unincorporated communities, I would really love to see those installed. Frankly, in almost every community just because it is such a huge problem. I was wondering if you have any plans for that, or if you’ve allocated any money to make that happen.
Some Hon. Members: (Indistinct)
Chair: Members, I don’t mind you taking your conversation outside the chamber so we can hear the questions and the answer. Thank you. Minister?
Ms. Biggar: Thank you. In regard to funding under infrastructure in here itself, that’s not something that would qualify to be 50% funded, first of all. So no, there’s no allocation within this particular budget; but when I referred to you, we do work closely with a lot of communities that do have issues with speeding. We have, at different times, installed larger signs for a period of time to alert people to the fact. Obviously, we are concerned about speeding in any part. Some of the communities that are municipal governments have taken initiatives. If I look at Kensington or Miscouche, those communities have taken initiative to install those flashing smaller signs when entering their community. We will continue to assist where we can, to
put those flashing warning signs out for a period of time. I think if you look at it, it would be quite cost prohibitive to install those in every community right across PEI. I would encourage any resident to, if it’s an ongoing issue, to engage with highway safety. We have done that on the main highway, as you know. We had issues with speeding where the bus zones were. (Indistinct) We set up speed checks which we were able to have a lot of people ticketed for that, so – we can make arrangements if it’s an ongoing issue in a particular area to have highway safety come in or deal with the RCMP. I would encourage people, if it’s an ongoing problem, to call the RCMP first of all if it’s not in a municipality that has their own police force because ultimately the RCMP do have the authority to enforce the speed limits.
Chair: The hon. Member from RusticoEmerald.
Mr. Trivers: Thank you, and just for the record, really it is an ongoing concern in all the communities that I mentioned, even within the district, and I think we really need to show leadership on this issue, put safety first, and make this happen. We need to take action to allocate money. Sharing the signs isn’t going to work; temporary signs aren’t going to work. I think you should even consider, as we’ve discussed in the past, things like photo radar because the RCMP can’t be everywhere all the time either. I would just urge you to consider that, and it’s unfortunate that we’re not seeing any of that in this budget. Just consider it for the future. Thank you.
Ms. Biggar: Thank you.
Budget Estimates: Hansard July 7, 2015 (page 66 of 85)
Mr. Trivers: Question.
Chair: Question. The hon. Member from Rustico-Emerald.
Mr. Trivers: Yes, I’ve had numerous requests in District 18 Rustico-Emerald in most small communities about the speeds going through the town. Obviously the speed limited is posted but it’s not being adhered to. I was wondering if this is the section where further signs would be
included in the budget. For example, in Hunter River there’s the speed sign so it shows you the speed of the vehicle as you’re coming in and the driver actually sees whether they’re over or under the speed limit. Because those are the sorts of signs that may be needed in other communities.
Ms. Biggar: That’s actually not in this section, it’s under the traffic section.
Mr. Trivers: Okay.
Ms. Biggar: The traffic division specifically. This is where Graham Miner – the registrar of motor vehicles is in this department, motor vehicle registration, those kind of things. There are 41 employees, actually. This is where your vehicle enforcement officers are, driver records staff, motor vehicle –
Mr. Trivers: Oh, so this wouldn’t include any signs.
Ms. Biggar: No, not this section, that’s further on under the traffic side.
Mr. Trivers: Okay, I’ll ask my question when we get there.
Ms. Biggar: Sure, it’s a good question.[… to page 74 of 85]
Ms. Biggar: Hon. member, this is where your flashing speed signs fall under. We’ve put them all around Prince Edward Island in
areas that are of concern to people. We can move them from area to area at different times. Right now we work with a number of members – the hon. Leader of the Third Party and the hon. Member from Borden-Kinkora – about the Tryon area. We had them installed there just recently, the flashing speed signs.
Mr. Trivers: Just to be clear, it’s a matter of just simply engaging with the department, making the request –
Ms. Biggar: Coordinating it –
Mr. Trivers: – working it out –
Ms. Biggar: If there’s an area that is in your area –
Mr. Trivers: Okay.
Ms. Biggar: – of a concern –
Mr. Trivers: Okay.
Ms. Biggar: – and there’s a sign available –
Mr. Trivers: Right. Ms. Biggar: – usually we place it there for a couple of weeks on a smaller area.
Mr. Trivers: Okay. So it’s not a permanent placement of a sign like they have –
Ms. Biggar: No. If you –
Mr. Trivers: – in Hunter River.
Ms. Biggar: Some of the municipalities buy their own and they can place them –
Mr. Trivers: Okay.
Ms. Biggar: – wherever they want to.
Mr. Trivers: Okay. Because I’m thinking –
Mr. Aylward: Stratford has them.
Ms. Biggar: Yeah.
Mr. Trivers: For example, the community of New Glasgow, the community of Breadalbane, there’s a particular case just in front of Rustico Resort where there’s people going across the road all the time –
Ms. Biggar: Yeah.
Mr. Trivers: – to the golf course. And there’s an area on Junction Road where apparently there’s high speed going down there a lot. The other –
Ms. Biggar: The other thing, if you contact our staff, sometimes they’ll contact the RCMP or extra –
Mr. Trivers: Okay.
Ms. Biggar: – patrols in that area might help.
Mr. Trivers: Okay. But the second question I had –
Chair: The hon. Member from Rustico- Emerald.
Mr. Trivers: – was about signs. For example, with school bus stopping-type signs.
Ms. Biggar: I know in fact on the road where I live, right in front of my house, one of the neighbours requested one be installed. It took a couple of years to process it all and eventually it was put in place. But it’s a simple sign: School bus stopping ahead.
Mr. Trivers: Recently, in fact during the election campaign, I came upon an accident that was caused by a blind hill on Route 2, a school bus stopping. I was wondering what turnaround time we should expect on requests for those sorts of signs. Is there an assessment process that happens?
Ms. Biggar: Obviously they come out and they do a traffic assessment and those things.
Mr. Trivers: Okay.
Ms. Biggar: But we’re always willing to work together. If there’s a real area of concern, just bring it to our attention.
Mr. Trivers: Because placing those sorts of signs isn’t a high cost thing, necessarily.
Ms. Biggar: No. It’s just a matter –
Mr. Trivers: It’s not –
Ms. Biggar: It’s having the sign there at the appropriate place and monitoring the speed in that area.
Mr. Trivers: Okay. Just as a way of a head’s- up, I know that there’s – the Home and School group, and some of the residents that live along Route 2 at that location where that accident – there’s been a number of close calls – are definitely going to be, perhaps, putting forward a petition to have that sort of thing up.
Ms. Biggar: Well, I –
Mr. Trivers: Maybe we can head that off at the pass.
Ms. Biggar: – would just encourage them at this point – they don’t really need to make a petition.
Mr. Trivers: Okay.
Ms. Biggar: I’d be happy to work with you
Mr. Trivers: All right. Great.
Ms. Biggar: – on it.
Mr. Trivers: Thank you, minister.
Ms. Biggar: Okay.
Chair: Thank you, hon. member.
Malcolm Lane says
It seems strange with such a small island, why are drivers always speeding and tailgating.
Do we need more police?? What a novel idea. Oh, we never see police out in the country.
We need more radar police cars to show the speeders they are not appreciated.
Why do fools with big trucks have to ride too close behind you and then speed past you???
There is no respect for our fellow drivers. Selfish and inconsiderate and unsafe drivers seem the norm.
We know there is a speed maximun but no minimum.
In Michigan there are posted limits, max and min and a speed for big trucks.
Why do tractor trailers use jake brakes when it’s against the law below 40 kph.
Poor maintained tractor trailers and drivers with limited skills seem the norm.
We need government testing sites for safe tractor trailer inspections, and fines for non compliance.