News Local

Drivers need to watch speeds

Now that it is getting close to back to school time, drivers need to be more careful of their speeds on the roads.

Volunteers with the local Speed Watch program, which is part of the Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP), were out Monday monitoring drivers' speeds on Crescent Road.

They will be having more patrols as kids will soon be returning to school next month, and there will be more pedestrians out during the rush period for traffic.

"(Residents) are concerned about the speeding in town, especially during the morning hours and the lunch hour," said Mervin Hawaleska, who is the co-ordinator for the local program. "And, during the school season, there is a lot of concern. When the schools are in, (at) our school zones we have monitored them a couple of times in the past and there seems to be excessive speed in the school zones."

During Monday morning's Speed Watch check on Crescent Road, volunteers noticed drivers were often times just over the limit, with some drivers approaching speeds of close to 60 km per hour. Only speed count, not specific licence plate data was recorded in the process.

Results will be sent off to Manitoba Public Insurance and if there is deemed to be a problem with speed in the area, the RCMP will be able to follow up with additional patrols.

City of Portage's Coun. Irvine Ferris said while municipalities have been given the OK to set reduced speeds around school zones, they will need to get more information from the Province on the parametres or guidelines for setting speeds before they can move ahead on this plan.

He said council is hoping to be able to implement the changes before next year.

Ferris did notice especially with kids heading back to class in September, drivers will need to be more careful on the roads.

"For a lot of the kids this is their first time for going to school and they are learning the rules of the road," Ferris added.  "Certainly, the areas around elementary schools -- that is a big concern because of the age of the students. Kids aren't always giving full attention to street traffic, so drivers need to take those extra steps to be cautious and keep our kids safe."

See more in an upcoming issue of Portage Daily Graphic.



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