Traffic and Driving, Cylists, Other Drivers, Cyclists, and Pedestrians.Councillor Jan Harder
The biggest complaint that my office receives is about traffic. More specifically, speeding cars and traffic infractions that endanger other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The City’s Safer Roads Ottawa Program “is a leading community partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.” (Ottawa.ca) The RCMP, OPP, SQ (Surete du Quebec), DND’s Military Police and Gatineau Police are all participants in this program.
As stated above, the goal of this program is to educate and change driver behavior. To further complement the Safer Roads Program, the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) initiative is enforced every month.
Each month the focus is on two traffic safety priorities and/or themes. These are chosen based on national or provincial campaigns and seasonal road topics (biking awareness in the summer, School zone safety in September). For the month of November, police are focusing on red light running and stop sign violations.
Much of the red-light and stop sign running infractions are due to speed and distracted driving. The posted speed limits are there because road studies have determined to them be safe and reasonable for existing conditions. It is easy to run a red light when the yellow light is treated as a green “go” rather than “prepare to stop.” The consequences can be catastrophic. Therefore the police will be on the outlook for the red-light runners and giving out fines.
The other priority is stop signs. Drivers running, or coasting through stops can also place pedestrians in grave danger. A stop sign is not a suggestion. Drivers must come to a full stop, whether there are or aren’t other cars, cyclists or pedestrians on the road. Again, police are making it a priority to fine drivers who do not follow those rules.
The month of December the focus will change to impaired driving and unsafe lane changes. Although the focus may change month to month, it doesn’t mean that the police stop patrolling those road offenses. Your best bet is to drive safely and observe the rules of the road.