Port Alberni Speed/Distracted Driving Watch Program

Port Alberni Speed/Distracted Driving Watch Program

Speedwatch VolunteersSpeed/Distracted Driving Watch is a partnership of Community Policing volunteers, Port Alberni R.C.M.P. and ICBC.  It is designed to help reduce speed-related crashes by raising public awareness of the actual speeds drivers are travelling.  Volunteers also identify drivers using electronic devices again raising awareness around this risky behaviour.

Volunteers use portable radar equipment and an electronic digital board to monitor speeds in neighborhoods, particularly school/playground zones, and high crash areas.  Drivers get instant feedback on their speed displayed on the reader-board as they pass. Experience has shown that more than 70 per cent of drivers who are traveling 10km/h over the speed limit slow down when they see a speed-reader board. 

Speed/Distracted Driving Watch helps address traffic and speeding problems through:

  • creating public awareness about road safety
  • community action to address speed/distracted driving - related problems
  • the collection of speed/distracted driving - related data
  • assisting police to determine higher risk locations 

Points to Ponder 

Unsafe speed means more than exceeding the posted limit. It may be translated into following too closely, failing to yield and driving too fast for conditions (weather, traffic flow, time of day, etc.) Car accident from excessive speed

The faster you go, the longer it takes to stop. It takes 13 metres to come to a complete stop when driving 30 km/h (on a dry, paved surface) but more than double that distance, 27 metres, when driving at 50 km/h. At 120 km.h, a vehicle will travel the length of a football field before stopping completely. 

As speed increases, so does centrifugal force. Thus, at high speeds, safely negotiating curves becomes increasingly difficult. The faster you go, the harder you hit. Crashes involve intense forces as the energy of speed is released upon impact. The human body is a fragile structure which can sustain catastrophic damage when subjected to these forces. 

Being distracted by an electronic device while driving or stopped in traffic is an offence with significant fines and points.  Holding and looking at an electronic device is considered distracted driving under the motor vehicle act.  The best practice to use is to turn off the phone or place it out of reach when driving.  Using an app to tell others you are driving can curb contact and reduce the temptation to check the phone.  Crashes related to distracted driving are on the rise and so are the fines.

For more information about volunteering for this program and others under the Community Policing umbrella please visit the Port Alberni Community Policing web page.  Recruitment details and the volunteer application are on the site for download.

For more information, please contact
Dave Cusson
Manager of Community Policing

Public Safety Building

3075 3rd ave, Port Alberni, B.C.