Editorial: The race is on to get a ticket

Police have been targeting a 30 km/h zone near a Langley City playground, and they're getting results

It seems that when it comes to obeying the rules of the road, many Langley drivers are still unable (or unwilling) to police themselves — that is, unless they see an officer nearby, waiting to do it for them.

More concerning, it appears to be true even when there is a genuine risk of striking and injuring a child.

That’s what City council learned recently after a traffic report compiled by a developer, showed that many drivers — most, in fact — are ignoring  the 30 km/h speed limit  near the Brydon Park playground at the corner of 53 Avenue and 198 Street. The average speed of motorists in the area was actually 55 km/h, the survey revealed.

After the City was informed about the problem last December, mayor and council referred the issue to the RCMP.

Police focused their resources on the ‘hot spot’ and an afternoon visit to the block on Jan. 9,  netted seven speeders.

Returning on Jan. 16, however, they failed to issue a single ticket. That, they surmise, might have been because officers arrived in marked vehicles and effectively announced their presence.

The theory is backed up by the fact that after returning to the street in unmarked cars the following day, they issued nine tickets — six for speeding and three for running stop signs.

Residents have been complaining about fast-moving traffic along the formerly quiet City street since construction began on 200 Street.

While it’s understandable that drivers, who have been detoured from their regular direct route want to get to their destinations as quickly as they’re used to, saving a few minutes’ driving time is not a reason to put children’s safety, and perhaps even their lives, at risk.

So we hope police will continue to step up enforcement, not just near Brydon Park, but near Langley playgrounds and schools in general, and keep hitting speeding drivers in the one place that seems to get their attention — their wallets.