‘People are fed up’: Coquitlam park speed tracker finds 85% break law

Coquitlam RCMP BlackCat speed tracker found that the majority of drivers on Hillcrest Street are over the 30 km/h day-time speed limit

If you’ve driven a car down Hillcrest Street near the Mundy Park playground during the day lately, chances are you were speeding.

Data from a Coquitlam RCMP BlackCat speed tracker set up in the area last month found that 85% of vehicles were not in compliance with the posted 30 kilometre per hour 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. speed limit. Of the drivers passing through the area, 78% moved at between 31 and 50 kilometres per hour, while 8% were over 51 kilometres per hour.

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Lynn Marois, who lives near the park, said people are driving too fast and urged her neighbours to slow down.

“It is a very active place,” she said, while standing under a temporary speed-reader board setup at Hillcrest and Winslow Friday morning. “People are fed up with the speeding.”

During an interview with The Tri-City News, six cars drove by the sign. None of the drivers were in compliance with the posted speed limits.

“They just don’t care,” Marois added. 

She has been asking the city for more prominent signage, saying the current speed limit postings are hard to see for passing motorists. 

With the playground nearby, Marois, a grandmother, fears that someone is going to get hit by a car. 

“Not in a million years,” she said when asked whether she would ride her bike down Hillcrest Street, one of the city’s designated bike routes. “Not even maybe.”

Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said while there have been no collisions in the area that have resulted in injury, police are aware of the situation and monitoring it closely.

However, he cautioned that the data collected from the BlackCat speed tracker can sometimes “look much worse than it is.” He said the numbers collected lump motorists into categories even if they are only a few kilometres over the limit. 

Nevertheless, police were in the area ticketing drivers Thursday afternoon.  

“We are very familiar with this particular complaint near Hillcrest and Winslow,” he said, later adding: “The BlackCat demonstrated that there was a measurable issue with speeding and as a result, we’ve done multiple speeding enforcement operations in this area since at least March of 2020 based on repeated contact from one complainant.”

Speed enforcement is a top priority for the RCMP, McLaughlin said. 

While they maintain a regular presence on large arterials, like the Lougheed Highway and Mary Hill Bypass, deploying to side streets is usually based on BlackCat and collision data as well as complaints from residents. 

“We are as data-driven as possible, and we put a lot of effort into areas where collisions causing injury are a significant issue,” he said. “School zones, weather, time of year, construction, pandemic issues — all of these factors are constantly evolving.”

But at the end of the day, McLaughlin said police can’t be everywhere and it is up to drivers to make sure they are adhering to posted speed limits. 

“Some of the same people who complain about speeders are themselves getting ticketed for speeding,” McLaughlin said. “Speeding is not just other people’s problem. If we’re going to reduce speed and make our roads safer, we all have to make a persona

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