There are no magic solutions to fixing these concerns but there are opportunities for all of us to do better and to make improvements to our personal driving habits.
While our traffic folks continue to look at origin and destination traffic issues, speed controls like speed bumps, road narrowing and speed limits, our Police have announced that they are implementing a new community program called Operation RISC: Reducing Intersection Safety Concerns. This program will include education and communication about road safety as well as enforcement.
Our Burlington residents are for the most part, responsible, reliable and caring individuals who sometimes make poor choices simply because the pressures of normal everyday life. They are speeding to get their kids to hockey games and dance practice. They blow through stop signs and red lights just because they are in a hurry. They text while driving just to ask their partner to start dinner.
Residents simply don’t realize the connection of their actions to road safety. There were 3,789 motor vehicle collisions in Burlington in 2014-an average of more than 10 per day. The most common contributing factors were inattentiveness, distracted driving (cell phone use), failure to yield, driving too fast for road conditions, following too closely, and disobeying traffic light signals.
RISC is a great first step in addressing traffic safety for our community and will address failing to stop for a red light, operating a vehicle while using an electronic device, including texting, dialing, email or using other devices like laptops and DVD’s. The Halton Regional Police Services have identified the most high risk intersections for serious injuries or death, and are making these the priority for the RISC program.
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Our Police will use education, outreach and communication as well as enforcement with a goal of changing behavior.
It was through education and outreach that we changed behavior of wearing seat belts and driving under the influence. We have a very different community today because of those efforts that began over 20 years ago.
One of the tools available to help end distracted driving is an App for your phone called OneTAP. This App stops calls from coming through and notifies the caller that you are driving. If there is an emergency it will notify the driver to pull over and take the call. It acts like a personal assistant and also allows parents to track their kids driving habits. It’s currently available for android phones and it’s free! For more information getonetap.com.
The new Halton Regional Police program “Operation RISC” will be a change agent for the future and I look forward to the opportunity to expand this type of Policing. Safe driving everyone!
If you would like more information about road safety in our community please email me or attend our Ward Six meeting on Road Safety to be held in the Spring.