The Star Phoenix. Saskatoon, SK | Jun 28, 2006
Saskatoon is getting a speed alert trailer to monitor how fast drivers are going.
The Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP) and SGI are sharing the costs of the trailers, which will be used in six cities in the province to educate drivers and police and to enforce speed limits.
“The Speed Alert trailers will not only raise awareness about, and educate drivers to, the problem of speeding, but also collect important data so that future decisions around resources and enforcement are based on fact, not emotion,” said Terry Coleman, president of the SACP
The trailers can be hauled by vehicles or be set up to stand alone. They have built-in radars and 38-centimetre digital screens that display vehicles’ speeds. A larger screen above that can be programmed to display messages such as “Reduce speed.” They also have software to collect information on traffic flows at different times of day and to record traffic violations.
Once the data is collected, the police departments and the RCMP will have a better understanding of where to allocate their resources. Each trailer costs about $25,000, and eight have been purchased so far — one for each city involved and two for the RCMP.
“Each injury costs about $16,000 in claims and each fatality costs $100,000,” said Kwei Quaye, SGI’s manager of traffic safety program evalution. He said SGI estimates 38 fatalities and 1,000 injuries in Saskatchewan are caused by speeding each year. By limiting the number of speed-related accidents, SGI and SACP hope to improve the safety of Saskatchewan’s streets and highways while cutting costs.
“Behind these numbers are the people affected — the individuals, their families, entire communities. Each victim is a compelling reason to take the right action,” Coleman said.
Quaye said speed alert trailers are already used in Alberta, but this is a first for Saskatchewan. SGI and the police and RCMP have been planning to get the trailers for about nine months.
Police officers from Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Estevan and Weyburn, and RCMP members, gathered in Saskatoon Tuesday to learn how to operate the trailers and take them back to their respective cities.
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