Calgary

Cochrane neighbourhood launches pace car program to slow down speeding drivers

The Riverview Community Association has launched a pace car pilot program. People who participate will put a decal on the back window of their vehicles and pledge not to drive too fast.

Riverview Community Association plans to run pilot program for 1 year

The Riverview Community Association's goal is to get 50 volunteers. (CBC News)

A neighbourhood in Cochrane wants to see more drivers ease off the gas pedal and slow down through its streets.

The posted speed limit through Riverview is 30 km/h, but resident Chris Richards says people don't often heed the signs.

"I would say at least 50 per cent are doing more than 30," Richard said. "It's tough to do 30, I'll even admit that myself."

The Riverview Community Association launched a pace car pilot program. People who participate will put a decal on the back window of their vehicles and pledge not to drive too fast.

"Some people refer to the pace car program as 'mobile speed bumps' — if people are doing the limit then other people that might be tending to speed will have to slow down because it kind of calms the whole traffic," said community association president Gerald Ertel.

Gerald Ertel is the president of the Riverview Community Association. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

The pace car is only one element of a program designed to improve the safety of Riverview's streets.

It all started about a year and a half ago, where after hearing many complaints about speeding in the area, the community association sat down with the town and came up with an action plan to help reduce speeding. The plan also involves reviewing signage in the area, an education program and enhanced enforcement.

The community, along with the town, launched a speed-monitoring program, where they monitored the streets for about a month. The program discovered the problem areas were 30-kilometre zones.

The pace car pilot program will be run for a year, then the community association and town will re-evaluate to see if it had any effect on driver behaviour. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

Ertel said only 15 per cent of people were actually driving 30 or less. Twenty per cent of people were driving more than 45.

The pace car pilot program will run for a year, then they will conduct another period of speed monitoring to see if their efforts had the desired effect.

There are around 200 homes in Riverview. Ertel said the goal is to get at least 50 volunteer vehicles to sign up.

With files from Andrew Brown

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