Saanich police have kicked off a month-long high-risk driving campaign in partnership with ICBC targeting excessive speeding. (Saanich Police/Twitter)

Provincial high-risk driving campaign kicks off with speed watch in Saanich

Excessive speeding on the rise in Saanich since March: police

Speeders beware; police departments across B.C. have teamed up with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) for a month-long High-Risk Driving Campaign focused on B.C. drivers who aren’t focused on speed limits.

“Stats have shown a trend in excessive speeding,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department.

Nearly 40 drivers were pulled over by Saanich police between March and April for excessive speeding – more than 40 km/h over the posted speed limit.

READ ALSO: Saanich police slap 22 drivers with excessive speeding fines in April

After the initial spike in excessive speeding, officers were seeing the numbers trend back to the “normal” range but things took a turn, Anastasiades said. In the first week of May, 14 more speeders were stopped – averaging two a day, he said.

Anastasiades pointed out that high-risk driving covers a range of things – distracted driving, aggressive lane changes, impaired driving – but this month, the education and enforcement campaign with ICBC is focused on speeding.

On May 7, Saanich police joined ICBC road safety and community coordinator Colleen Woodger on the Pat Bay Highway near the McKenzie Avenue overpass for a morning of educating the public about high-risk driving.

READ ALSO: Saanich police pull over 16 drivers over for excessive speeding over the last 30 days

Speeding is the number one contributing factor in fatal collisions, Woodger explained.

In May, ICBC staff will be out at police-recommended locations – high volume areas and spots where speeding is common – throughout the province with speed-reader boards, pylons and signs reminding drivers to “be safe, be calm, [and] slow down,” she said.

So far, Woodger said, the reaction from drivers has been positive. Anastasiades agreed, noting “road safety is a top priority for Saanich residents.”

READ ALSO: Victoria, Saanich install automated pedestrian crossing signals

Most Saanich speeders are found on highways, in construction zones and on rural roads, Anastasiades said. The recent spike may be a result of fewer drivers and the “allure of the open road” or the fact that the jurisdiction is home to two highway corridors, but he pointed out that lately, speed has been an issue across the country.

In B.C., fines for excessive speeding range from $368 to $483, a driver gets three penalty points on their licence and the vehicle is impounded for a week.

“I’m sure the impound lots are getting pretty full,” Anastasiades said.

Woodger and the team will spend the first half of May focused mostly on Saanich as it’s a junction in the region, before heading over to the West Shore and Sooke area.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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