Northeast Town to purchase radar speed indicator sign

The Ontario Provincial Police have a mobile radar sign that travels throughout Manitoulin communities but the Northeast Town has recently agreed to purchase its own unit at a price no greater than $10,000 from its working capital reserves.

LITTLE CURRENT – Northeast Town council received yet another complaint of drivers using high rates of speed through residential areas, causing staff to suggest the town could procure its own radar speed sign.

Robyn Charbonneau of Robinson Street was the latest in a string of letter writers. Her letter was included in the August 4 meeting agenda package.

“There is a desperate need for a new speed limit to be introduced on Robinson Street,” Ms. Charbonneau writes. “Vehicles are driving there at speeds that are excessive for a residential street. Children are in danger of being hit and killed, a threat that also extends to some residents of Manitoulin Centennial Manor who regularly drive their motorized scooters on this street, and to all other members of the public.”

CAO Dave Williamson noted that this is the third week in a row council has had a speeding complaint as part of its agenda package and suggested that the municipal purchase its own radar speed indicator sign. He explained that the costs range from $6,000 to $10,000.

“We can then place the sign and forward the information obtained to the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police),” Mr. Williamson said. Top-end signs come with software that records each vehicle’s speed that passes by, as well as the time of passing.

Councillor Barb Baker asked about speed bumps on problem roads.

Mr. Williamson replied that speed bumps bring with them numerous problems, such as complaints from residents, problems with snowplows and “some measure of liability,” giving the example of a driver who hits the speed bump at a high rate of speed and obtains damage to their vehicle.

Councillor Baker also noted the OPP’s speed indicator sign and its consistent mechanical failure. “Have we factored in maintenance costs?” she asked.

Councillor Al Boyd, a retired OPP constable who was once the officer in charge of the force’s speed indicator sign, noted that the OPP sign’s issue is due to a faulty charging system but that maintenance costs should be quite minimal, if well taken care of.

Councillor Bill Koehler made the motion to purchase a speed indicator sign at a cost not greater than $10,000 while Councillor Boyd seconded the motion. The money will be taken from the working capital reserve account.