Ottawa’s proposed new ‘community safety zones’ include 8 roads near local schools

The City of Ottawa is recommending the creation of eight new community safety zones. Aaron Streck / Global News

City of Ottawa staff are looking to create eight more “community safety zones” across the city, which, if approved by city council, would double fines for drivers caught speeding or driving carelessly in those areas.

The proposed new safety zones, announced in a news release on Friday, are “near schools where speeding and careless drivers are a risk to children,” the city said.

“The locations were selected based on data, including previous incidents of speeding vehicles, the number of children in the area and previous collisions.”

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The eight proposed locations for new community safety zones are:

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  • Watters Road (near St. Francis of Assisi School)
  • Longfields Drive (near École élémentaire catholique Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, St. Mother Teresa High School and Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School)
  • Bayshore Drive (near St. Rose of Lima School)
  • Meadowlands Drive West (near St. Gregory School)
  • Ogilvie Road (near Gloucester High School)
  • Smyth Road (near Vincent Massey Public School, Hillcrest High School and École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité)
  • Innes Road (near École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges)
  • Katimavik Road (near Holy Trinity Catholic High School)

If approved later this month, new community safety zones could be in play by the end of November, bringing the total number of these zones in Ottawa to 12, according to the city.

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The provincial Highway Traffic Act gives Ontario municipalities the power to designate roads in their jurisdiction as community safety zones if the local council believes “public safety is of special concern on that part of the highway.”

Once in effect, the designation doubles or increases fines for speeding, careless driving and other offences under the Highway Traffic Act.

The city had scheduled a press conference for the road safety announcement on Friday morning, but it was cancelled. A spokesperson for the city couldn’t say why.

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Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais, who chairs the city’s transportation committee, are supporting the proposal.

Watson pledged to expand community safety zones as part of a wider community and road safety plan he announced during his re-election campaign in 2018.

The transportation committee is expected to consider the proposed new safety zones at its next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 13. If approved, they will be put up for a vote at city council.