RCMP and city officials in Red Deer raise concerns about recent uptick in drivers speeding

A file photo of a speedometer is shown. File / Global News

The director of the City of Red Deer’s emergency operations centre says both the city and Red Deer RCMP are taking action to respond to recent concerns about drivers speeding in the community.

“Over the past two weeks, Red Deer RCMP have caught motorists driving at excessive speeds, putting the safety of all road users, including drivers and pedestrians, at risk,” Karen Mann said in a news release issued Friday.

“Safety continues to be our No. 1 priority, and we will be enforcing speed limits, particularly in high-risk areas such as playground zones and high-collision intersections.”

From Friday until the end of the month, the city said automated traffic enforcement will be in effect at “high-risk locations throughout Red Deer.”

Intersection speed cameras will be operating at 50 Avenue and 76 Street, 49 Avenue and 49 Street, 30 Avenue and 32 Street and 30 Avenue and Ross Street.

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Photo radar will also be employed on Gaetz Avenue, 49 Avenue, Highway 11A, Highway 2A, 39 Street and 67 Street.

“Speeding puts everyone on the roadway at risk, including other drivers and pedestrians, while also increasing the likelihood and severity of a collision,” said Insp. Mark Groves with the Red Deer RCMP detachment. “Drivers are reminded to follow all posted speed limits at all times, or risk a ticket and/or demerit points.

“Speeding also increases the burden on police and health resources and detracts from our efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

READ MORE: RCMP to ramp up patrols in Red Deer’s business areas amid ongoing COVID-19 crisis

The city added that even though playgrounds in Red Deer are closed, drivers should remember that a speed limit of 30 km/h near playgrounds remains in effect between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

“Photo radar will be at playground zones in Oriole Park, Johnstone, Kentwood, Fairview, West Park, Grandview, Mountview, Sunnybrook, South Hill, Deer Park, Rosedale, Eastview, Clearview and Timberlands,” the city’s website says.

However, because of school closures, the city said the 30 km/h speed limit is not currently in effect in the school zones by Central Middle School and Eastview Middle School.

Two weeks ago, the City of Edmonton’s acting director of traffic safety said Edmonton police had noticed a recent “significant increase in speeding”

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READ MORE: Recent uptick in speeding on Edmonton roads concerns mayor and city official

At the time, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said “the last thing we need is a spike in traffic accidents because people were speeding, and consequently, the kind of drain on our public health-care system.”

“Now’s the time where we need to be very, very careful… our health-care workers have enough to deal with.”

READ MORE: Extreme speeding an ongoing issue on Edmonton roads during COVID-19 pandemic 

Watch below: (From March 26, 2020): City data shows an increase in speeding this past week, which Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson chastized on Thursday, saying the health care system and police do not need to be dealing with collisions during the COVID-19 crisis.

Click to play video 'Edmonton mayor addresses speeding drivers on city roads' Edmonton mayor addresses speeding drivers on city roads
Edmonton mayor addresses speeding drivers on city roads – Mar 26, 2020