The Neighbourhood Speed Watch program is a community-based educational initiative that
provides immediate awareness to both the motorist and resident of vehicle operating speeds. The
program consists of a portable message board and radar speed gun which when installed on the
side of a road, electronically displays the speed of an approaching vehicle compared to the
posted speed limit. The unit is designed to alert the motorist to their vehicle operating
The program is based on the principle that many motorists are somewhat unaware that they are
traveling at an excessive rate of speed, particularly on a residential street, since most
motorists generally drive at a speed deemed comfortable depending on road geometry and roadside
development. The operating speed electronically displayed is a strong visual reminder to the
motorist to comply with the posted speed limit.
The radar message board unit is used by resident groups, with assistance from City staff, on
their street to provide an awareness to road users. The residents are encouraged to record the
license plate number and vehicle description of excessive speeders which will be forwarded to
the police for follow up. The unit also functions as an educational tool for the resident. Many
motorists are perceived to be traveling at an excessive speed when in fact their operating
speed is within acceptable limits. Speed perception is impacted by various factors such as
size, colour and sound of an approaching vehicle.
On the basis of speed studies completed by Transportation and Works staff and the police, it
was found that a high percentage of "speeders" on local streets are neighbourhood
residents. The use of the radar message board unit by street residents sends a strong message
to other residents of the community that their cooperation is necessary to ensure public
The Neighbourhood Speed Watch Program is not an enforcement program nor is it a speed
deterrent. However, it is one tool which can be used by residents to address aggressive driving
on their street.
If you are concerned about vehicle speeds on your street and would like to volunteer a
few hours of your time through participation in this program, please call 3-1-1 or if outside
city limits please call 905-615-4311, or fax at 905-896-5583.