People who drive on Doe Lake Road and Ferguson Road in Katrine have to get used to a lower maximum speed limit.
Armour town council has approved turning both roadways into Community Safety Zones and along with the designation comes a new lower speed limit of 30 km/h.
Prior to the change, the speed limit was 40 km/h.
The change is the result of residents on Doe Lake Road petitioning the council to investigate how to get motorists to slow down on the roads.
A couple of weeks ago a delegation of residents told council some motorists drive well above the 40 km/h and some hitting speeds of 70 km/h on Doe Lake Road is not unheard of.
Residents are worried someone is going to get hurt.
After debating several options at an earlier council meeting this month, council settled on the Community Safety Zone approach coupled with the 30 km/h speed limit at its July 26 meeting.
During the most recent debate, Coun. Rod Blakelock told his colleagues that following the earlier meeting in July, two residents asked him why council didn’t simply enforce the existing speed limit law rather than create a new law.
“I sort of agree with that,” Blacklock said.
“Why are we altering it instead of enforcing the rules?”
In response, clerk-treasurer/administrator John Theriault said the township could ask the OPP to set up speed traps on Doe Lake Road but noted the police don’t have the staffing levels to maintain an ongoing presence at the site.
Theriault said with the Community Safety Zone approach, council will first notify the OPP about the change.
Then in the future if the municipality asks the OPP to monitor the speed on both roads, Theriault said although the police face the same staffing challenge “they may enforce it for a while and that might work.”
Theriault says people caught speeding in a Community Safety Zone face double the fine and he says after a few people have been caught and pay a hefty penalty, they might start slowing down regularly.
In adopting the Community Safety Zone, Theriault wanted the town council to be aware of who exactly is speeding along Doe Lake Road.
Doe Lake Road has several cottage resorts which attract a number of tourists.
Theriault says if it’s the tourists who are speeding then get nabbed and pay a huge fine, they might get the message to slow down.
However, he cautioned that if the speedsters include local residents, the Community Safety Zone might not make a difference.
“If it’s people who live there and they follow the rules, that’s great,” Theriault said.
But he adds if some locals simply don’t obey the speed limit signs then Community Safety Zone or not, they will continue to drive fast and then it’s a question of having a speed trap on site at the right time.
With council approving the speed-limit change, it will now acquire the necessary signs and put them up in the near future.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget