Drivers speed through Orléans school zone with abandon
Ottawa police issue 18 speeding tickets in 80 minutes in Terry Fox Elementary School zone
It didn't take long for Const. Luc Mongeon to nab his first speeder Thursday morning in front of Terry Fox Elementary School in Orléans.
Less than a minute after pointing his laser gun down the stretch of Jeanne D'Arc Boulevard, Mongeon pulled over the driver of a dark grey Volkswagen Jetta doing 68 km/h in the school zone, where the limit is 40 km/h during the morning and afternoon commutes.
"His licence was expired since last year, his plates were expired, and he had no proof of vehicle ownership or insurance," Mongeon said.
'Everyone tells me they're a good driver'
The pace didn't slow down after that. In a span of 80 minutes, Mongeon and his partner Const. Danny Laverge issued 18 tickets for speeding and another eight tickets for various offences such as expired plates or missing plate stickers.
But it's the speeding that really gets to Mongeon, who, in his 17 years of service with the force, has heard every excuse.
"People are heading to work, they're late, they have appointments, and they ignore the law," Mongeon said. "Everyone tells me they're a good driver or they don't speed. I say, 'You've probably been speeding regularly, you just haven't been caught by police.'"
While many drivers might feel a little excess speed isn't the end of the world, Mongeon argues it's a case of basic physics.
"Things happen in front of them, there's a perception time, a reaction time, and it affects the braking distance. Despite how good you are, something can happen to you where a child can get killed."
Speed trap notifications a thorn for police
The police officer's Thursday morning speed trap caught the attention of users of the app Waze, which includes a controversial feature.
The navigation app lets users geotag a police speed trap if they spot one. That information is uploaded in real time and gives other Waze users an audible alert from their smartphones as they approach the speed trap, warning them to slow down.
"Right now there's 78 people tagging us on Waze," said Const. Lavergne, 90 minutes after first setting up their speed trap. "It's technology. There's not much we can do."
But despite the app and the upcoming Ontario launch of photo radar in school zones, Mongeon figures he'll have plenty of traffic work to keep him busy.
"We have an impact in the community and we're appreciated by local residents. Traffic enforcement is my passion. I believe in preventing losses of life, I'll be doing this until I retire," he said.