Cumberland City Councillor Stephen Blais is pleased to unveil the City of Ottawa’s first “Constable Scarecrow” sign that will be placed on Portobello Blvd in Orléans to deter speeding in the community safety zone and two elementary schools.
“Far too often, careless drivers speed by schools without regard for children,” says Blais. “We need a plan to deter drivers from speeding and to deploy targeted enforcement in these sensitive areas.”
Constable Scarecrow is a life-size metal cut-out of Ottawa’s Constable Mongeon, pointing a radar gun at oncoming traffic. The cut-out is a deterrent measure used to slow motorists down on roadways where speeding is a chronic issue.
The scope of the project includes data collection for pre and post-installation speeds and will include periods of police enforcement over the next few weeks.
Councillor Blais began his work to combat chronic speeding during his time as an Ottawa Catholic School Board Trustee when he introduced a motion to have the City “designate a community safety zone on all roadways within a 1 km radius of all elementary schools in the City of Ottawa” and to further have the City “undertake an aggressive traffic enforcement campaign in these community safety zones.”
“This traffic calming initiative will send a clear message to speeders and help preserve the safety of our roads, especially in community safety zones where we see the highest number of children walking and biking”
Based on a pilot project completed in British Colombia last September, speeds were seen to decrease steadily in the presence of the police cut-out. In one case, 5.2% of drivers were found to be speeding by more than 10km/h prior to the installation and only 2.5% of drivers were found speeding more than 10km/h over the posted limit with the presence of the cut-out. Speeders travelling 30km/h over the posted limit dropped from 18 to 4.
The current average speed on Portobello is 57km/h with only a 16% compliance with the default 50 km/hr speed limit.