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Police board ponders more speed signs

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Brockvillians remain preoccupied with speeders on their streets, a fact made apparent in the recent municipal election.

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As a result, Brockville’s police services board will consider buying more speed monitoring signs in an effort to warn or shame drivers into slowing down.

Coun. Larry Journal, newly returned to council, told the police board his door-to-door campaigning last year revealed an enduring preoccupation with speeders on residential streets, especially on the longer roadways.

And he asked Police Chief Scott Fraser about the possibility of buying more of the signs, which flash the speed of passing vehicles.

“I have a belief … that they are a deterrent to speeding,” said Journal.

The other councillor on the police board, Jeff Earle, agreed traffic remains on the public’s mind and residents of different parts of town are clamouring for more stop signs.

He suggested speed monitoring signs could come in handy on Brock Street, in particular between Centre Street and Perth Street.

In the north end, said Earle, people on Millwood Avenue consider it “a local speedway,” while others complain about Windsor Drive.

Brockville currently has one set of two portable speed signs, placed together at opposite ends of designated streets usually chosen as a result of complaints from the public.

“More signs would be very beneficial,” said the chief, who agrees they are a deterrent to speeders.

“The best thing with them is they record data,” added Fraser.

The signs log the time of day, the number of cars, high speeds, low speeds and averages, said the chief.

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Fraser told the board that, along with acting as a deterrent, they also bring some perspective to the public complaints, which tend to exaggerate how fast drivers are going.

“It’s all in the eye of the beholder, how fast a car is going,” said the chief.

A set of two speed monitoring signs can cost about $1,200 to $1,500, he added.

Those signs come in different varieties, some more expensive than others.

Earle said other jurisdictions he has been to have speed signs that flash happy or less happy emojis depending on whether a driver is observing the speed limit. Other signs are mounted on trailers, or designed to be left permanently in one spot.

“Could we get a couple of permanent and a couple of portable?” asked Earle.

But the police chief suggested getting the moveable signs and keeping them on the move for the surprise factor.

“Once they’re there all the time, people ignore it,” said Fraser.

The police board will now consider whether to buy more of the signs. Chairman King Yee, Jr. suggested some “like-minded community members” or businesses might be interested in providing some funding.

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