Moncton cops get tough with speeders
Last Updated: Thursday, October 19, 2006 | 11:03 AM AT
Moncton-area traffic cops are cracking down on speed demons and distracted drivers in response to complaints from the public about road safety.
On Wednesday, in the span of just eight hours, Codiac RCMP responded to 11 traffic accidents, three of which caused injuries. It may sound like a lot, but Const. Bruce Estabrooks says it's just a regular day on the beat.
As a full-time traffic cop, Estabrooks spends his 10-hour shifts flagging motorists for violations in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe. He has zero tolerance for lead-footed drivers, and says the area's rapid population growth in recent years has brought too many speeders to the roads.
"About three weeks ago, I stopped a motorist driving at 133 kilometres per hour in a 50 zone. It was 8:30 in the morning and it was right in front of a school," he said.
The increase in speeding brought about a flurry of complaints to Dieppe council, which asked the RCMP to increase patrols and tickets to drivers.
Police responded by issuing about 70 tickets a week, during the last several weeks, in all three communities.
"After a few $168 tickets the message gets across," said Dieppe Mayor Achilles Maillet.
Cpl. Al Boulianne, who is in charge of Codiac RCMP's traffic division, says it's not that there are more bad drivers on the road, it's just that too many people are trying to get places too quickly.
"There always have been bad drivers and there always will be bad drivers," Boulianne said. "But the difference is the population is growing so fast, so quick, that people have a problem to adjust to the growing of the population, and get more in a hurry in the morning to get to work.
"People are always in rush, rush, rush mode."
Boulianne says drivers are also being distracted by gizmos and gadgets in their cars. Last week, he stopped a driver who was passing time behind the wheel in an alarming way. "The driver had the laptop on his dash of his car, watching a movie while he was driving."