Lethbridge Police Services (LPS) will begin a traffic enforcement initiative this weekend after responding to an increase in speeding, racing, stunting and loud vehicle complaints. LPS says many of the complaints have been reported on weekends in the evenings, with problem areas including Mayor Magrath Drive South, the northside industrial park and the West Crossings area. It adds the increase in calls is not uncommon for the time of year.
“The goal is to provide a highly visible police presence in those and other trouble spots across the city, as well as a crack-down on illegal driving behaviours and equipment violations,” reads a news release from LPS.
The enforcement plan will see members of the Traffic Response Unit (TRU) bolstered by extra resources on random weekends over the next several months. Sgt. Danny Lomness, of the TRU, says police are aware of the strong car culture in the community and the desire of many drivers to show off their vehicles. “That can be done, however, while still observing the rules of the road, ensuring the safety of other motorists and pedestrians, and not infringing on the rights of residents near those thoroughfares to enjoy the evening in their yard and a sound sleep.”
Police say it is hoped announcing the initiative early will act as a deterrent for illegal driving behaviour, which could put less strain on patrol members and allow them more time to deal with other issues.
A similar plan implemented last year saw a decrease in public complaints and tickets issued as enforcement efforts continued, Police say. In all, more than 100 tickets were issued over three weekends for various violations under the Traffic Safety Act. There were also two Immediate Roadside Sanction suspensions for drinking and driving, three towed vehicles for no insurance or registration, six vehicles seized for equipment violations and tickets issued for various other infractions.
Penalties can range from an automatic court appearance to fines. Excessive noise from exhaust muffler can get a fine of $162 and stunting can get $567.