Motorists heading to Highway 28 towards the cottage country will notice some changes that have now come into effect.
Two new Community Safety Zones have been established along the busy north-south road through the Township of North Kawartha.
This means that if you are caught speeding in any of these areas, your fines will be doubled.
“The execution begins now. There will be no grace period,” North Kawartha Mayor Carolyn Amyotte said in a Facebook video April 27.
Calls for safety improvements along Highway 28 in Peterborough County
“The increased sanctions will be applied immediately. After years of advocacy and hard work, this is a major achievement for the well-being and safety of our community and for the tens of thousands of people who travel Highway 28 every year.
The first zone covers 3.5 kilometers from Route 28 through the village of Apsley while the second covers 5.5 kilometers from Route 28 from Haultain to Woodview.
Traffic signs have been installed at the boundaries of the two zones.
“We hope this will have a deterrent effect. We have seen a fair share of serious accidents and some fatal accidents, unfortunately. We support that 100% for any way to make our roads safer,” Peterborough County OPP Const. said Joe Ayotte.
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Ayotte tells Global News that vehicles in Peterborough colliding with animals are the main reason for collisions on this stretch of road, but there are other factors as well.
“Number 1 is animal strikes, but after that it’s speeding, distracted driving, following too closely and driver fatigue. It is up to motorists themselves to take responsibility for making these roads safer as well,” Ayotte said.
In the week leading up to the August long weekend in 2020, about 66,000 vehicles passed through Woodview, according to data obtained by the Ontario Provincial Police.
“Highway 28 is by far one of our busiest highways. It’s right up there with highways 7 and 115 for volume,” Ayotte added.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, there have been nearly 300 collisions on a stretch of the highway between Big Cedar and Apsley in the past five years, four of which were fatal, resulting in six fatalities.
Petition created to lobby province for community safety zones and photo radar along Highway 28
Following the last highway fatality in August 2021, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith and township officials created a petition in September 2021 for community safety zones and possible photo radar cameras along of a 28-mile stretch from Burleigh Falls to Apsley.
Although it has received support, there are still no cameras installed along 28.
According to the Department of Transportation, photo radar or Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cannot be installed in community safety zones with speed limits of 80 km/h or more.
The speed limit in newly installed Community Safety Zones is still 80 km/h.
“ESA can only be deployed by municipalities in school zones or community safety zones. ASE is not permitted on provincial highways (which is Highway 28),” the department said in an email to Global News Peterborough.
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