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Neighbourhood Speed Watch Program

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 speed.

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 safety.

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.

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