‘It’s a worry’: Oak Bay speeders asked to hit the brakes as safety concerns rise

CHEK

Excessive speeding has become an increasing issue along Beach Drive in Oak Bay, and local police are asking drivers to slow down.

The posted speed limit in the area is 40 km/h, and Oak Bay resident Lindiann Hopkins said since she moved there five years ago, she has noticed a number of speeders.

“Especially past the golf club. I do this walk all the time. There’s that little strip where people can pick up a lot of speed,” Hopkins said.

“It’s a worry. I mean, you don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Last week, two drivers were pulled over for hitting high speeds along that portion of the winding residential road.

On Nov. 20, a 21-year-old man was stopped for going 111km/h near Beach Drive and Newport Avenue. Two days later, a 43-year-old man was stopped for going 85km/h in the same area.

Oak Bay Police Cst. Julie Chanin said this is, unfortunately, an ongoing issue.

“In the last six months, we’ve written 30 excessive speeding tickets,” Chanin explained.

Under the Motor Vehicle Act, excessive speeding is considered driving 40-60 km over the posted speed limit, resulting in a $368 fine, seven-day vehicle impound and three demerit points.

Travelling more than 60 km over the posted speed limit ends with a $483 ticket, seven-day vehicle impound and three demerit points.

Chanin explained that 20 speeders caught in the last six months were travelling between 40-60 km over the posted 40 km limit, and 10 were travelling faster than that.

“That is something that is very concerning,” Chanin added.

She said excessive speeding is dangerous, but Beach Drive brings higher risks, including intersections, blind driveways, cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife.

Chanin added it only takes a split second for the need for speed to turn fatal.

“The faster you go, the slower the stopping time you have. The faster you go, the more property damage, injury and potentially…death,” she explained.

Oak Bay police are upping enforcement in the area.

The municipality is also looking at ways to mitigate the community safety issue.

Mayor Kevin Murdock said that as the city is redoing roadwork, it is also undertaking road design changes.

“To add some natural factors that encourage people to drive slower, so those are bump-outs for crosswalks, changing sight lines and so forth,” Murdock said.

Chris Foord, a road safety advocate, told CHEK News that while it is good to see the municipality looking into fixes, more needs to be done at a provincial level.

He believes the province needs to increase the punishment for those who excessively speed.

“Your driver’s license should be pulled for at least six months or a year, and you should have to take a re-test to get it back as if you had no license,” Foord said.

For now, Oak Bay police are asking drivers to slow down and drive the posted speed limits to ensure everyone gets to where they are going safely.

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