Belwood resident warns of 'ticking time bomb' in community

BELWOOD — Belwood resident Raymond Jasperson called the speeding problem in the community a "ticking time bomb" at a community town hall Thursday night.

“You’ve got a ticking time bomb that nobody seems to give a shit for,” Jasperson said.

Centre Wellington Mayor Shawn Watters hosted the town hall at Belwood Hall in front of an audience of an estimated 150 people.

Members of council, staff and county councillor Steve O’Neill were also in attendance.

Jasperson tried to emphasize the importance of dealing with the speeding issue right away. He suggested installing something more than a basic speed sign where he lives on the County Road 19.

“The point is, if we don’t put something out there now, and I do mean now, somebody is going to get hurt,” Jasperson said.

Jasperson noted the people who are vulnerable to the possibility of an accident caused by speeding.

“It could be one of us backing out of our driveways. It could be a kid. It could be a dog. One of those trucks swerved to miss something, they’re going to go into a house. These houses, most of them are on propane,” Jasperson said.

Watters noted that he understood the problem and that he would take action by talking about it at the county level, who are responsible for setting speed limits.

“When I was doing my door knocking, that was maybe second or third on the list of issues for Belwood, speed. So Steve and I, we will bring that up at county council,” Watters said.

Jasperson noted that many people, often in trucks, will drive as high as 100 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

“The trucks do between 80 to 100 km/h.

“It’s the grain trucks from the farms and it’s also the cement, dump trucks, mostly trucks. I’ve clocked them on my radar and they’re just crazy,” Jasperson said.

Jasperson is already trying to protect his grandchildren from the dangerous drivers.

“I’ve got grandkids that are five years old, I can’t put them out on the front yard because I’m afraid one of them might dart out,” Jasperson said.

Jasperson suggests this problem has a aspect of hopelessness.

“There’s no way the trucks are going to stop. No way. You can do whatever you want to do,” Jasperson said.

“I’m on county council, we need to here this,” Watters said.

Adam Gilmore, manager of engineering at Centre Wellington, explained that signs which show the speed drivers are going could be put up in the problem areas.

“Yeah, so we do have a number of them at the township. We put them up. Sometimes we move them around. We just purchased a bunch of new ones this year to put up,” Gilmore said.

He tried to state that these speed display signs actually work to slow drivers.

“They’re a pretty effective tool and they record data too. Which is really valuable for us,” Gilmore said.

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

Jesse Gault, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,