Motorists not getting the message

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer




OPP made nearly 300 traffic stops on Highway 24 between Simcoe and Scotland from April 1 to mid-October.

Still, police aren’t sure the message is getting through that reckless driving on this busy stretch of road will not be tolerated.

This main feeder route in and out of Norfolk has been the subject of focused patrols due to complaints of high speed, dangerous driving and frequent, serious crashes involving fatalities.

Norfolk’s Police Services Board discussed the enforcement effort at its final meeting of 2017 Wednesday. Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke told the board he’s seen scary things on Highway 24.

“I try to avoid Highway 24 at all costs,” Luke said.

Given the high volume of traffic stops and the high volume of cruisers, Windham Coun. Jim Oliver wonders why motorists haven’t modified their behaviour.

“Highway 24 is busy busy,” Oliver said. “You’d think that would slow people down. You’d think people who use it regularly would know it is well-patrolled.”

A major problem is impatient drivers who attempt to pass long lines of vehicles at high speeds.

Hot wheelers get their speed up to do so and then have to hope they can pull back into their lane without encountering oncoming traffic or having someone pull in front of them from a driveway or concession road.

Another problem is motorists who pass vehicles on the shoulder while the vehicle in front waits to turn left.

Another stretch experiencing the same problems is Highway 3 between Simcoe and Delhi.

Problem traffic will be a priority for the new interim chief of the Norfolk OPP. Inspector Lisa Anderson took over from interim chief Shawn Nash on Monday.

Anderson is in charge of traffic and marine operations at OPP West Region headquarters in London. She will be in Norfolk for the next three months.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Anderson said she will bring what she has learned about traffic enforcement to bear on problem areas in Norfolk.

“Our highway resources should be devoted to saving lives, reducing injuries and preventing these serious injuries from happening,” Anderson said.