Traffic officers laid 83 charges during back-to-school initiative in Sudbury

Traffic management officers laid 83 charges in September as Greater Sudbury Police Services upped enforcement in school zones as kids headed back to class.

In a presentation to the police board Wednesday, Const. Jacques Roberge of the Traffic Management Unit said targeted enforcement in high-risk areas is part of the service's strategy for improving road safety.

“We work a lot to see if there’s a particular area that needs some attention,” said Roberge in his presentation. “We deal with enforcement by way of receiving complaints from different jurisdictions of the city and trying to apply enforcement to essentially eliminate those issues.”

In September, police implemented a back-to-school and rail safety initiative that increased officer presence around school zones.

As a result of the initiative, 83 charges were laid. At the same time, the police service's communications team sent out reminders to the public to slow down around buses and schools, to keep drivers vigilant. School bus flashing light education and awareness was also an important part of the campaign.

But increased police presence is a temporary measure, and isn’t enough to quell dangerous driving on its own.

“What we see is that sometimes it’ll slow down for a bit, but then it seems to kind of come back once we’re shifting on,” he said. “So we also do education. (Communications) will put out information as it relates to stop signs, pedestrian crosswalks and things like that, trying to education our members instead of having the enforcement portion be it.”

From January to October of this year, police received more than 2,600 complaints. Of those, 293 were received through CopLogic, the city’s online reporting system.

In September, traffic enforcement officers responded to 63 service calls, including 17 collisions. Of those, three were fatal and one resulted in serious injury.

Other infractions included 12 drivers charged with stunt driving and three for driving while suspended.

There has also been an increase in drug impairment charges overall. Of the 23 drivers charged for driving under the influence last month, seven were impaired by drugs.

To date this year, 1,256 charges have been laid under the Provincial Offences Act.

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

mjensen@postmedia.com

Twitter: @mia_rjensen

Mia Jensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star