The Traffic Unit provides general and specific support in traffic policy direction for this Service. This is accomplished through ongoing activities including:
- Analysis of the traffic activity in the City of Peterborough, Village of Lakefield and the Township of Cavan Monaghan;
- Consultation with members of the community and related agencies;
- Education and training for all members involved in traffic management.
- Identifying goals, objectives and strategies for the Traffic Unit.
- Accident Reconstruction: The Traffic Unit provides an expert level of investigation into a wide range of major traffic incidents and is a technical/information source for all areas of the Service.
- Breath Analysis Technicians provide technical expertise and information in all areas related to impaired driving.
- Selective Traffic Enforcement
The Traffic Unit corresponds with Driver Review and Control and the Ministry of Transportation to request they review drivers licences of those believed to be incompetent to drive.
The ultimate goal of traffic law enforcement is to achieve voluntary compliance by all persons using the highways, so as to reduce collision rates. Enforcement is not based on quotas, but is based on identified needs and resulting from information including:
- High collision locations
- Public complaints and requests
- An officer’s assessment of need
The 5 member Traffic Management Unit (TMU) began 2016 with the intent to continue its commitment to decrease collisions and injury throughout all areas serviced by the Peterborough Police Service. The TMU planned to accomplish this task through education and enforcement initiatives, working with our road safety partners using previous proven methods, as well as partnering with the City of Peterborough Traffic Department. In addition, it was recognized that there was a need to continue to educate traffic officers to prepare the TMU for any future needs and possible shortcomings. However, throughout 2016 TMU officers were redeployed for a variety of other necessary operational functions which negatively affected the intent for 2016.
The TMU participated in initiatives such as Top 10 Intersections, Ministry of Transportation heavy vehicle details, distracted driving details, and the implementation of the new Crossing Guard Legislation. In total, the TMU participated in 25 such details, resulting in 473 Provincial Offence Notices being issued. These types of details and the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Finance and the City of Peterborough proved to be a very worthwhile partnership.
For the first time the Traffic Department from the City of Peterborough approached the Peterborough Police Service TMU with a request to participate in the new Crossing Guard Legislation coming into effect in the first part of 2016. The TMU participated in the drafting of the information pamphlets, took part in the radio commercials educating the public and then dedicated time to enforcement. The TMU realizes the concerns of all involved and continues to dedicate time and resources to crossing guard intersections in an effort to keep students and the guards safe.
In 2016 total collisions increased 13.2% and there were 3 fatalities compared to zero in 2015. The overall need for TMU officers to supplement shifts, scene security, and many other non-traffic needs, was largely responsible for the negative trends. Traffic Management Unit members performed extremely well in providing the best service possible to the communities given the limited resources and requirements to assist in other areas of the Service.
The Peterborough Police Service fell out of the Top 10 Safest Cities in the Canada according to Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study for 2015. The last year statistics were available at the time of this report. Peterborough was ranked 11th in 2015, compared to 4th in 2014, but still an improvement from 2013 where Peterborough ranked 24th.
The Traffic Management Unit organized and hosted a Level 2 Accident Reconstruction Course with the OPP in 2016. This course was designed and co-facilitated by members of the TMU. Officers also continued their education by completing a photography course for photographing collision scenes as well as Level 3 and 4 Accident Reconstruction courses. Currently, the TMU has one fully trained Accident Reconstruction officer assigned to the unit with plans to increase that number to 3 in 2017.
An Automated Licence Plate Reader was purchased and installed in one of the TMU vehicles to be solely used by TMU officers on a daily basis. Officers report great success from this unit, in particular the detection of suspended drivers operating motor vehicles. All TMU officers were trained in the use of this new technology and have praised the technology for improving road safety. Some consideration will be provided in 2017 that a second unit be considered for use by platoon officers.
Traffic Management officers continued to operate with one less traffic officer in 2016 than what had been the staffing levels in the past. As is demonstrated, the number of enforcement opportunities decreases with the decrease in officers while at the same time the number of collisions increase. It should be noted that the total collisions includes highway and off highway (parking lots) collisions. It should also be noted that as the enforcement decreased, collisions increased. Traffic officers were each assigned to liaise with a patrol area. The purpose was to assist area officers in identifying areas of concern which would further increase road safety. The assigned officer attended the patrol area team meetings to share the information.
The TMU issued 2,838 Provincial Offence Notices in 2016 compared to 2,926 in 2015, a decrease of 3% and a decrease of 32.6% from the 4,342 issued in 2014. In 2016, there were 12,207 Provincial Offence Notices issued Service wide and in 2015, there were 11,066 issued, an increase of 10.31%. In spite of the fact that the TMU has seen reduced enforcement, the platoon officers have increased their enforcement significantly.
Sadly in 2016 there were 3 pedestrian fatalities resulting in the most fatalities in the past 6 years. These types of collisions are exceptionally time consuming as they are a type of an investigation where the action of an individual contributed to the death of another individual, much like a homicide investigation. Specialized equipment, outside agencies, and very specific training are the basics for such an investigation. As a result of the investigations, one was cleared with no fault of the driver, one resulted in criminal charges to the driver and one with Highway Traffic Act charges to the driver. These matters are still before the courts at the time of this report.
In 2016, 14 RIDE details were conducted at various locations in Peterborough, Lakefield and Cavan Monaghan Township and a total of 8,430 drivers were checked for levels of sobriety with only 6 drivers being charge with impaired driving offences. The RIDE details are made possible by grants from the Ontario Government.
Overall Collision Statistics
Statistics for 2016 show there were three (3) fatal motor vehicle collisions in Peterborough all involving pedestrians. There were zero (0) fatalities in 2015, one (1) fatality in 2014, zero (0) in 2013 and one (1) in 2012.
The following are the collision statistics for 2016:
• Total collisions investigated increased 13.2% from 2,208 to 2,499
• Collisions over $2000 decreased 7% from 1,135 to 1,055
• Collisions under $2000 increased 42.3% from 717 to 1,020
• Collisions involving injuries increased 18.3% from 356 to 421
• Total persons injured increased 32% from 515 to 680
• Fatal collisions – increased from 0 to 3
• Pedestrians injured increased 11.5% from 52 to 58
• Motorcyclists injured increased 14.3% from 7 to 8
• Motorcycle collisions increased 11.1% from 9 to 10
• Bicyclists injured decreased 28.9% from 38 to 27
• Total HTA charges increased 12.7% from 5,039 to 5,681