By Kevin Werner, News Staff
If you are travelling in Hamilton, be prepared to get pulled over for speeding.
A poll, conducted by a United States-based organization for motorists identified Hamilton as the second worst place in Canada behind Windsor when it comes to laying out speed traps for motorists.
For cities with populations greater than 50,000 residents, Flower Mound,Texas top the survey for speed traps, followed by Livonia, Michigan, then Windsor, Ont. , Hamilton, and Mississauga, which placed fifth.
The top speed traps that Hamiltonians say are prevalent within the community include Garth Street, between Fennell Ave and Mountain Crest, the Red Hill Valley Parkway, the corner of Wilfred Street and Burlington Street, up bound Clairmont Access, Highway 52, in Copetown, various locations along the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, and Upper Wellington at Howe Avenue North.
“We took the cream of the crop, and came up with the rankings,” said John Bowman, communications director for the National Motorists Association. “We have a data base of over 80,000 records across North America. It’s updated all the time.”
Bowman says the survey, although not scientific, is created through the public’s input.
“It confirms what people already know,” he said.
For Garth Street, an April 2012 response says “police will sit in their cruiser or hide behind a utility pole to catch speeders going southbound on Garth.”
And along Burlington Street, police, the post stated, “faces eastbound Burlington Street traffic behind a telephone pole at the corner.”
The NMA, a non-profit agency, calculated the total number of online votes for the speed traps identified within a community, and then indexed the total to the community’s population size. The NMA reviewed the data received over the last five years from its website “The National Speed Trap Exchange.”
The NNM states as one of its missions is for the protection “of motorists’ rights and freedoms.”
Bowman said there is no need for “speed traps” in municipalities, if authorities simply establish the proper speed in the area.
“(Enforcement) doesn’t modify behavior,” he said. “Compliance doesn’t improve. Speeds need to be at the correct level.”
Hamilton Police Sgt. Terri-Lynn Collings says officers don’t create “speed traps” but are simply doing their jobs after receiving complaints from residents. And from the latest data collected from traffic officers, it seems to be working, she said.
“Our numbers (of speeders, collisions) are down this year,” she said. “Hamilton’s streets are safer.”
She said officers are simply enforcing the speed limit, which has been established by the community.
“Traffic enforcement is driven by residents,” she said.
Police are aware of the NMA online survey, and even though it isn’t scientific, it does make the public aware of speeding and to drive safe, said Collings.
“It brings attention to the fact people should slow down,” she said. “We enforce the rules. And we will continue to do that.”