Hazardous Driving in Hunt Club
How Well Do You Know Your Community?Mar 11, 2021 - By John D. Reid
Dangerous speeds were recorded each day by the Uplands Drive radar speed sign in 2020. Four in every hundred vehicles exceeded 60 Km/hr.
The chart shows the daily maximum values. Over the year the average highest daily speed was 82 Km/hr. On 23 days reckless drivers blew past at twice the speed limit—that’s stunt driving under the Highway Traffic Act, penalties for which include 6 demerit points, a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 and other penalties.
What was the irresponsible person recorded at 130 Km/hr on 5 July thinking? We don’t know who it was, what they were driving and under what conditions, only that they were being extremely reckless. The radar speed board does not have a camera so, short of someone with miraculous investigative powers, we’ll never know.
There’s more to dangerous driving than exceeding the speed limit. If you’ve ever slid across an intersection or off the road during freezing rain you know how hazardous it can be. City traffic statistics show accidents are over four times as likely during freezing rain events.
Black ice is deceptive, occurring when water vapour in the air freezes directly onto a cold surface —that’s why there are warnings about ice on the road surface of bridges, especially those over water where humidity is higher. Watch out for cold clear nights when the temperature drops rapidly. Still not convinced of the danger? Check out “black ice” videos on YouTube.
Combining radar speed and weather data shows that each additional centimetre of snow recorded increases adherence to the speed limit by 1 percent. Snow also marginally reduces traffic volume on Uplands. On cold winter days, traffic moves on average a bit more slowly.
Overall the data show a large majority of drivers on Uplands drive within the speed limit, Three-quarters of all vehicles approach the sign within the 50 Km/hr speed limit, and 85 percent travel at less than 53 Km/hr. A few recklessly ignore it. Keep yourself and others safe by observing speed limits, slowing down and being extra careful in adverse weather.
A photo radar pilot project is now underway at nine school locations, none of them in Hunt Club. Given these findings, should the City extend the project to other locations to deter and catch dangerous drivers?