Police speed traps

Letter to: Mayor Rob Ford and Bill Blair, Chief of Police

By Carolyn Taylor –

On Sunday afternoon my husband and I drove down the Don Valley Parkway and exited onto Bayview Extension. A few moments later we were stopped and issued a speeding ticket – 75 km’s in a 60 km area.

You may think, what’s the big deal? I got a speeding ticket. I’ll pay the fine, have my insurance rates raised.

Here’s where the big deal lies:

Consider: A Sunday afternoon.

Bayview Extension is, for much of it, a highway. There are no safety hazards i.e. no buildings, no pedestrians, no old people or children, schools, no side streets.

The shift from travelling at 90 km’s an hour, onto Bayview Extension at 60 Km’s is abrupt.

Public perception (knowledge) is that Police position themselves to catch motorists in the process of gearing down. We all know why: to raise revenue for the city. Perhaps to justify police costs. Perhaps to show police care about public safety by catching those speeding motorists. I verified the former when I phoned 51 Division to ask about the costs added to the fine (court costs), and was told that “top brass told us to get out there and issue tickets.”

Here are the consequences:

A widespread sense of unfairness and unreasonableness.

Insult at the cost (to taxpayers) – three policemen, three police cars, three sets of radar equipment and cameras

The public knowing these fines are a [very inefficient] form of collecting tax for the city.

Dislike and disrespect for police who are supposed to serve and protect.

The above is also in light of our (local people in Cabbagetown) experience of waiting more than three hours for police to respond to a call that a house break-in is occurring right at that moment. Why do they take so long? They’re sitting on Bayview Extension trapping motorists for driving a few km’s over the speed limit.

Is there any other way to understand these exercises other than the above?