Regina police preparing to launch Project SPEED

Regina police preparing to launch Project SPEED
A long exposure shows the blurred lights of vehicles as they travel along Broad Street in Regina, Saskatchewan on May 2, 2020.  BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

As the sounds of high-revving engines and squealing tires once again interrupt evenings in the city, police are preparing a little earlier this year to crack down on those drivers.

Project SPEED – which launched for the first time in June last year – is expected to kick off earlier this year, according to comments made at a recent Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

Addressing the board, Deputy Chief Dean Rae said it’s far too common to see increased speeds and risky driving behaviour as winter turns to spring.

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“We see that (as) driving conditions get better, we generally see an increase in speeds and driving actions of people in our community,” he said. “As a result, we put together a project last year and we’re replicating it this year.”

Rae said police will soon be out in the community doing both enforcement and education, as well as possibly some positive ticketing campaigns.

“That’s going to take place in the next couple of weeks …,” he advised at the March 30 meeting. “There’s lots of work that’s going on in the next few weeks and you’ll see more and more coming through our social media venues just to show the community that we’re out and about and we’re very much aware of those increasing tendencies in the spring.”

Rae noted that given COVID-19 restrictions in Regina, city-based members of combined traffic services can’t leave the city and so are available to help out with current projects.

“The fact that mid-March we had roads clear of any snow was a bit earlier than normal,” he said. “Typically, it’s April and May when we’re talking about increased speed, increased noise. But along with that comes sometimes the charge of criminal dangerous drive or impaired drive. We’ve seen an increase in those this year, and I think it’s got a lot to do just with warmer weather.”

SGI joined in on the call for people to refrain from risky driving behaviour, placing April’s traffic safety spotlight on speeding. In a news release, SGI warned a ticket for street racing comes with an automatic 30-day impoundment.

According to provincial statistics, in 2019, 454 people were injured and nine killed in collisions in which speeding was a factor.
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