Lethbridge, Alberta – The Lethbridge Police Service Traffic Response Unit (TRU) is hoping the message is starting to hit home.
Earlier enforcement efforts did not result in a significant reduction in the number of traffic violations occurring on city roads, or public complaints about speeding, excessive noise from vehicles racing, and stunting. As a result, Lethbridge Police have directed additional officers to focus on hot spots and is beginning to see some results.
Through a traffic enforcement initiative on two evenings of late, the most recent on Aug. 14, 2021, police issued a total of 75 tickets under the Traffic Safety Act. They also towed eight vehicles for infractions including equipment violations, no insurance and impaired driving. Two criminal code charges also resulted from unrelated violations.
A highly-visible police presence was provided in areas of the city which have proven particularly troublesome for illegal driving behaviour including Mayor Magrath Drive South, the West Crossings area and the northside industrial park. In addition to curbing such behaviour, the goal was to make the roads safer for other drivers.
Acting-Sgt. Brent Paxman, of the TRU, said officers assigned to the initiative noted an improvement from the first evening of enforcement to the second.
“There were still a lot of vehicles out there, but a lot less offenders,” he said, noting public complaints have also dropped off. “I do think that what we are doing is working.”
While it isn’t economically feasible to call in additional officers every evening, police do have plans for further traffic initiatives to ensure that positive trend continues.
The bulk of the tickets issued on the two evenings were for equipment violations, including loud mufflers. Paxman said it’s important for drivers to realize such violations impact other’s quality of life.
“They purchase a house, maybe it’s their dream house, and they can’t sleep at night because people are driving, fast, obnoxious and loud. We’re trying to stop that,” he said.
Removing mud flaps from a vehicle, meanwhile, shows a lack of courtesy for other drivers.
“I tell them, ‘how would you like it if a rock came into your windshield or chipped the hood of your vehicle? You’d be mad, and that’s what you are doing to other people,’ ” said Paxman.
Lethbridge Police acknowledge that unsafe, discourteous and illegal driving behaviours haven’t been eliminated. Residents experiencing issues in their neighbourhood are asked to call police at 403-328-4444 and provide specifics about vehicles or licence plates if they have them.
Lethbridge Police Service
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