‘Excessive speeders and obnoxious noise’: Edmonton police crack down on roadways

An Edmonton Police Service officer conducting photo radar speed enforcement. Morris Gamblin, Global News

Edmonton police, along with peace officers and the City of Edmonton’s traffic safety section, are zoning in on a number of roadways — more specifically the drivers speeding and revving their engines.

Project TENSOR will focus on a number of “hot spots” allowing officers a coordinated effort in high-complaint areas of the river valley and downtown.

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

The crackdown started last weekend and will run for the rest of the summer.

Sgt. Kerry Bates, with the EPS traffic section said there has been a spike in the number of complaints of “excessive speeders and obnoxious noise.”

“We want citizens to know that we hear you,” Bates said. “We’re going to vigorously enforces these laws over the summer with the goal of ridding our streets of this emergent problem.”

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LISTEN BELOW: Sgt. Kerry Bates joins 630 CHED Afternoons with J’lyn Nye

Bates said if police can hear a vehicle blocks away, it’s an indication the noise level is unacceptable and evidence enough to write a ticket.

Traffic noise during the warmer months is nothing new, but Bates said even though traffic is lighter during the COVID-19 pandemic, some drivers continue to use roadways as speedways.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton mayor addresses speeding drivers on city roads'
Edmonton mayor addresses speeding drivers on city roads

Some of the areas where Project TENSOR will focus its resources include:

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  • 97 Avenue from James McDonald Bridge to 109 Street (Legislature Tunnel)
  • 109 Street from 97 Avenue north to Jasper Avenue
  • Jasper Avenue from 95 Street up to 116 Street
  • Whyte Avenue, from 99 Street to 109 Street
  • Groat Road
  • River Valley Road from Groat Road to 105 Street
  • 105 Street from River Valley Road to 100 Avenue
  • The High Level Bridge

Earlier this month, Mayor Don Iveson, Edmonton’s police chief, Dale McFee, and the Edmonton Police Commission signed off on a letter to the province, calling for a change to the legislation to allow police to seize vehicles with the ability to impound them for seven days, if a driver is caught speeding 50 kilometres per hour or more over the posted speed limit.

The request said the seizure would reduce the problem of excess speed on our roads — one example highlighted was a vehicle on the Anthony Henday clocked at 214 kilometres per hour.

READ MORE: ‘Ridiculously dangerous’ speeder caught 117 km/h over the limit: Edmonton police chief

Brooklyn Elhard, press secretary for the minister of transportation, said government has been in contact with Chief Mcfee to inform him the province will not be implementing roadside seizures for excessive speeding.

In a statement, Elhard said “tough sanctions” for speeding already exist in Alberta.

They include fines and six demerit points for driving 50 kilometres per hour over the speed limit and a mandatory court appearance. Elhard said a judge may later impose fines of up to $2,000, a licence suspension of up to 90 days, or incarceration.

LISTEN: Liane Langois, president of the  Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society, joins 630 CHED Afternoons with J’lyn Nye

Sgt. Kerry Bates speaks with the media at Whyte Avenue and Gateway Boulevard about Project TENSOR on May 27, 2020. Julien Fornier/Global News

On Thursday, May 28, Edmonton police will be hosting the first of several amnesty testing events, to allow motorcycle riders to test the noise levels on their bikes.

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“People that have vehicles that do create unacceptable or obnoxious level of noise are fairly well aware that they have those vehicles,” said Bates.

The event, at the NAIT South Campus Parking lot at 7110 Gateway Boulevard, will be open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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