A total of 38 speeding tickets are being reversed due to an error in process with Brandon City Council in a pilot project aimed at slowing down traffic in specific neighborhoods.
In January 2022, the pilot project on Durum Drive between Aberdeen Avenue and 26th Street had reduced posted speeds from 50 km/hr down to 40 km/hr. The project was then expanded to include Parkdale and River Heights neighborhoods on June 1st of this summer and then Princess Avenue East and Rideau Park neighborhood on July 1st.
However, as a result of an error in process, an enabling bylaw was not passed by City Council before the pilot project in order to enforce the speed limit charges.
"It's an error on our end, and we apologize for our error, and we feel the fairest thing to do is to wipe the slate clean on those tickets," shares City of Brandon Corporate Communications Officer, Merrilea Metcalf. "The process has already started for refunding those thirty-eight people," she adds.
"The goal is to keep those neighborhoods at the 40 km/hr speed limit but it's not enforceable right now, but the signs are remaining for the time being," she says.
Metcalfe notes the additional neighborhoods added to the pilot project were some areas the City felt they could further their monitoring of traffic, to see how traffic took to the reduced speed and how the neighborhood as a whole responded to the change.
"It's still a pilot project because we want to understand how everyone is dealing with the 40 km/hr and if it should remain permanent at some point, or not"
City Council will decide on the pilot project’s next steps, including considering a bylaw to lower the speed limit on September 18, 2023. Next week Monday's council meeting will be the first reading of the bylaw, most likely with a presentation of documented statistics and community feedback. It will then be determined when the second reading will take place.
A decision is expected for mid-October. However, for the time being, the 40 KM signs will remain in place in the pilot project areas.
The goal of this pilot project has been to determine if the City should consider reductions of speed limits in all residential neighborhoods as a way of reducing collisions that result in serious injury or fatality.
For the drivers who had their speeding tickets reversed, one would hope they will take more notice of the reduced speeding limit, even though there is no threat of receiving charges. All drivers should heed the reduced speed for the very good reason to keep everyone safe on the roads. There are valid reasons why this pilot project was initiated and why signs were posted.
"Because you know, there's families and children often playing in the streets, and with school starting back up, we just want everyone to drive safe," adds Metcalf. "Let's keep our roads safe."
When we're safe on the road, that means others are safe as well.