You might not think that adding one more car would make our streets safer — but that’s what’s happening in Hastings Sunrise and north Grandview-Woodlands!
Thanks to generous donors, we now have a vehicle with which we can ramp up our new Road Safety program. Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre volunteers will use the distinctively marked 2010 Ford Taurus to expand Speed Watch and Cell Watch activity, as well as pedestrian safety presentations and anti-theft bicyle registrations.
Studies show that 7 of 10 drivers will slow down when they see a radar board showing their speed. The car lets our volunteers do many more radar board setups, especially in speed sensitive areas such as schools and parks.
Other studies show that distracted driving — primarily by cell phone use — causes about one-quarter of all vehicle crash fatalities in B.C. Cell Watch volunteers display signs asking drivers to “Leave the Phone Alone”. They record numbers of distracted drivers and give them to ICBC.
We also participate in ICBC’s “Two Strike” program, in conjunction with the Vancouver Police Department, in which traffic police operate speed traps or monitor cell phone use a short distance away from where our volunteers have set up Speed Watch or Cell Watch signage.
Here’s why the program is needed:
- A pedestrian is hit nearly everyday in Vancouver. (VPD)
- There are more than 20,000 motor vehicle crashes every year in Vancouver. Many of them happen in Hastings Sunrise, whose Broadway and Hastings corridors are some of the most dangerous in the city for pedestrians. (ICBC-VPD)
- Five other major arteries run through Hastings Sunrise, filled with heavy truck traffic and speeding commuters.
“Until now, staff and volunteers have had to use their own vehicles,” said Clair MacGougan, Executive Director of Hastings Sunrise CPC.
“Now we can respond much better to people’s complaints about speeding or other dangerous driving situations,” he said.
The car was obtained through B.C’s Civil Forfeiture program, in which items associated with criminal activity are seized to benefit the community.
“I want to especially thank GCT Canada and PCI Developments Corp. for their generous support of this two-year program,” said Clair. “Community support makes all the difference!”