Radar Guns To Monitor All Forest Service Roads
Jan 8, 2009
POWELL RIVER - Radar guns will now be used to monitor and enforce safety on all provincial Forest Service Roads, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced today.
"Better speed enforcement on B.C.'s 59,000-kilometre network of Forest Service roads means more drivers returning home safely at the end of the workday," said Bell. "Expanding the use of radar guns is another step toward improving safety for forest workers and the public."
The ministry has purchased six new radar guns, for a total to 10, giving all three forest regions an additional two radar guns each. The ministry will then work in co-operation with the RCMP to train two to three Compliance and Enforcement Officers per district, for each of the 29 forest districts, in their proper use.
In conjunction with radar guns, the ministry will also place three speed boards, one per region, in different locations around the province to increase driver's awareness of their speed. The program is supported by the RCMP, ICBC and Conservation Office Service.
"Initially, the main focus is to improve compliance and safe driving practices through education and awareness," said Bell. "But make no mistake, officers are empowered to give tickets and chronic, repeat offenders could be subject to fines of up to $1 million for speeding and dangerous driving on a Forest Service road.
"The maximum speed limit on our forest service roads is either as posted or 80 kilometres an hour, and that limit is there for everyone's safety," said Bell. "This is particularly true for recreational users and smaller vehicles. The rules for Forest Service roads apply to all users."
Previously, speed enforcement tended to be localized and focused on high risk, high traffic roads. However, following a pilot project last summer in Powell River, ministry Compliance and Enforcement Officers will now practice speed enforcement on a daily basis, province-wide.
Recent resource road safety initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Forests and Range include, road infrastructure improvements, a pilot project to standardize radio call procedures and road signage. As well, TruckSafe has expanded its Vehicle Identification Plates Program to make it simpler and easier to report unsafe driving incidents.
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