Speedwatch volunteers are looking for you
By Mark Newman, News Staff
Twenty vehicle owners have or will be getting a letter from inspector Scott Rastin from the Community Mobilization Division of the Hamilton Police Service.
Those vehicles were spotted speeding at three Mountain locations recently by volunteers with the Speedwatch program has been running out of the Concession Street Community Policing Centre since the beginning of the year.
The letter states the time and location the vehicle was recorded traveling in excess of the posted speed limit and reminds the owner that excessive speed often results in collisions causing extensive property damage, injury or death.
“We tag people going 11 (kilometers per hour) over the speed limit,” said Jasen Tivanian, one of the coordinators of the Speedwatch program.
Tivanian said a group of three policing centre volunteers wearing fluorescent vests and identification try to get out for at least one hour a week to a Mountain location known for speeding traffic.
The locations are usually suggested by the volunteers, the police service, Mountain councillors or the public.
One of the volunteers works a radar gun, similar to what is used by police during traffic enforcement.
The beam is pointed at the front of an on-coming vehicle from about 40 metres away.
“As soon as we see the cars coming we start aiming,” Tivanian said.
The vehicle’s speed is displayed on a large electronic sign that the driver can see.
If the vehicle is speeding, Tivanian said the gun operator will write down the colour of the vehicle and whether the driver was a male or female.
The two other volunteers will record the license plate number and make and model of the vehicle.
On Feb. 13 Speedwatch volunteers recorded three vehicles doing in excess of 60 km-h in a 50 zone on Concession Street near Upper Wellington.
Three speeders were tagged at Stone Church Road and Upper Wellington on Feb. 11 and 14 vehicles were recorded speeding, one of them doing 72 km-h, at Mohawk and Upper Sherman on Jan. 16.
The monthly numbers are passed on to the police service.
“Usually one per 10 cars are going over the speed limit,” Tivanian said.
Amir Moslehi, the other program coordinator, said the presence of the volunteers tends to slow the traffic.
“People are a little bit more wise on what the speed (limit) is and how fast they’re actually going,” Moslehi said.
“We get a lot of people honking, we get a lot of people looking at us, we have people coming up and thanking us, we have other people asking about what we are doing,” Tivanian added.
Members of the public who would like to see the Speedwatch program visit their neighbourhood should contact the Concession Street Community Policing Centre at 905-540-6695.