On October 6, Ottawa’s Transportation Committee will consider a report that recommends adding 15 new automated speed enforcement (ASE) sites across the city—including two in Stittsville.
The ASE cameras are implemented in Community Safety Zones near school sites. A City survey shows this is a popular approach, with 87 per cent of respondents in support (85 per cent for people who have received tickets). The new locations recommended for Stittsville would be on Abbott Street East from Moss Hill Trail to Shea Road (by Sacred Heart High School) and Stittsville Main Street from Bandelier Way to Hazeldean Road (by St. Stephen School). The sites were based on speed studies done at all schools in the City of Ottawa.
Automated speed enforcement is very successful achieving its aim of reducing speeds: since the program’s introduction in July 2020, there has been a 200 per cent increase in speed limit compliance and a 72 per cent decrease in high-end speeders. Over 100,000 tickets have been issued to drivers caught breaking the speed limit, which has generated $5.4 million in revenue for the City. This revenue is used to fund new road safety initiatives through the Road Safety Action Plan.
Speeding is dangerous for all residents. Especially in the heart of our community—where there’s a higher concentration of vulnerable road users like children, pedestrians, and cyclists—we need to bring speeds down. The reasons are simple: the faster you go, the harder it is to react to the unexpected and the higher the probability that a pedestrian struck will not survive. The graphic below illustrates this concept in stark terms: if a driver in our community is speeding at 65 km/hr and strikes a pedestrian, they will most likely kill them.
We hear nearly every day from residents that speeding is a problem on Stittsville’s streets. And let’s face it—the people who drive recklessly in our community live here too. Enforcement—whether automated or not—improves awareness of speed limits and creates a disincentive to breaking them.
Road design also plays a role in speeding. We know that new roads must be designed with modern safety principles, and that older roads require retrofitting to bring speeds down (for example, with the temporary traffic calming measures you see getting installed each spring). The ideal road design makes it difficult or uncomfortable to drive above the posted speed limit.
The Automated Speed Enforcement program is part of the way we can improve driver behaviour and fund road design improvements to keep all residents safe. This program serves as a virtuous cycle for road safety, and I’m glad to see it come to our ward.
Please contact me with any comments or questions about the program.