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Range road speeding in Lethbridge County triggers safety concerns

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A business on Range Road 21-2 in Lethbridge County is flagging concerns with the dangerously high speeds of daily commuters. As Emily Olsen reports, speeding is a risk not only to customers and staff but also to children boarding school buses along the route – Feb 3, 2021

Manager of Marshall Auto Wreckers Edward Warbrick says he’s deeply concerned with the speeds of traffic passing his Lethbridge County business on Range Road 21-2.

“People are just in a hurry to get to and from work, and it’s getting pretty scary out here,” he said. “All we can think is if there’s somebody trying to pull out of a driveway here or something, there’s going to be a pretty severe accident.”

Read more: Speed reduction not necessary for new skatepark: City of Lethbridge

He said they’ve had a few complaints from customers and staff about close calls with speeding vehicles, but an added worry is the safety of children boarding school buses along the route.

“The bus stops here regularly,” Warbrick said. “And it’s not uncommon to see vehicles passing the school bus, and it is a solid line.”

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Warbrick said it took several calls to track down which jurisdiction to share his complaints with, but after several calls to Lethbridge city officials, Alberta Transportation and his local MLA, he finally concluded the route was considered to be in Lethbridge County.

“We started with the RCMP, who’ve been co-operative,” Warbrick said. “And they’ve sent patrols but they can’t be here all the time.”

A spokesperson from Coaldale RCMP said they do their best to monitor areas like Range Road 21-2, especially when there is a school nearby.

Coaldale RCMP often rely on witnesses to submit licence plate numbers and vehicle descriptions so they can effectively charge those responsible.

RCMP reports show three fatal collisions documented on this stretch in the last year.

Read more: Lethbridge Traffic Response Unit hopes to slow down traffic offences in school zones

Jeremy Wickson, director of public operations for Lethbridge County, said they keep close tabs on these heavy commute areas.

“I know frequently the highest traffic areas we have are just east of the city: south of Highway 3 and north of Highway 3,” Wickson explained. “Those are monitored on a regular basis.”

Wickson added that the county also relies on public feedback to determine where higher-priority areas are.

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“[It helps us ask] can we do more or can we advertise more on these roadways?” Wickson said. “Do they need more traffic signs? Do they need a different kind?”

He said drivers should follow posted speed limits and traffic laws regardless of which jurisdiction they are in.

Read more: Woman killed in central Alberta collision

Warbrick would like to see more speed deterrents put in place in the coming year and intends to follow up with suggestions to county officials.

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