On Wednesday afternoon, around 3.30pm, a collision took place between two vehicles at the intersection of Collier Rd and Elgin St, right near Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary School. Luckily, no life-threatening injuries were sustained.
The accident would probably not have come as a surprise to the members of the Thorold Road Safety Committee, who at that same time were discussing the dangerous speeding on Collier Rd.
Councillor Carmen DeRose, who is a teacher at Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary School, started the discussion of the issue at Wednesday’s meeting, saying, “I was approached by my principal last week. One of the crossing guards was almost hit by a speeding truck.”
Councillor DeRose went on, “Yesterday I go to the end of Collier (Rd) and hang a right on Beaverdams (Rd), where it’s 50 now. Some girl in a small sports car was zooming by, she had to be going 100, and I thought, ‘Wow, where is a cop when you need him?’“
“We’re strapped for resources,” responded Paul Webb, who is the traffic services staff sergeant for the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) and the representative of the NRPS in the Road Safety Committee.
“That doesn’t mean it’s not on our sheet. It’s on our radar, we will try, but I’m hesitant to give you a date and a promise on when that can take place. Our resources are stretched so thin. ”
“Can we as council direct the region to put more resources in your department? Is that a possibility?”, asked Councillor DeRose.
“Probably not. It’s the Niagara Regional Police Service unfortunately, not Thorold,” replied Webb.
“As far as our traffic unit, to give you an idea, I have 19 officers assigned to me. Right now I have 14 coming to work because of either transfers or illness and those are spread over four platoons. So today I have two officers working for me in the Niagara region for traffic services. We’re trying to handle complaints from all over. It’s probably not the answer you like to hear, but it’s the reality.”
Webb went on to explain that the use of photo radars and red light cameras is being considered by the regional council but because of Covid-19 they haven’t been implemented yet. And even when they do, Thorold will probably not see them.
Said Webb, “They will be placed initially in regional community safety zones and I don’t think Thorold has one, if I remember right.”
As to what should happen going forward to tackle the issue remains unclear, but councillor DeRose thinks the problems are only going to get worse.
“We’re booming, tons of people are moving from other communities, especially Toronto. I think it’s prevalent in Thorold because the numbers have gone up and the people don’t realize we’re a small town and we try to go a little slower and safer.”