It was a busy morning along Highway 10 Thursday, but it wasn’t just your typical traffic.
Along three stretches of Highway 10 – Ladner Trunk Road in Delta, 152 Street in Surrey and the Langley Bypass – police and speed-watch volunteers were set up to remind drivers to follow the speed limit and drive safe.
And if you didn’t slow down, police were on hand to pull you over,
It was all part of “Project Swoop,” a traffic education and enforcement campaign, and a partnership between ICBC police and volunteers that started at the beginning of May.
Jaspreet Jandu says “you don’t realize how many people do break the rules while driving until you’re actively looking out for it.
Jandu is a volunteer with the Surrey Crime Prevention Society, and he along with other volunteers from the society, were set up along Highway 10 between 148 and 153 streets to remind people of their speed.
“At first glance, it might not seem like many people are breaking the law, but when you actually go out and observe the different cars, the different vehicles driving past, you see how many people really do engage in distracted driving,” he explained.
“Whether that be eating a burger or a breakfast sandwich and the wrapper is blocking their face as they’re driving or when you get to the end of your coffee mug and you’re all of a sudden lifting it really high. It’s blocking your vision and there are a lot of people that engage in dangerous driving without even realizing it.
“All it takes is one little mistake to rear-end someone or accidentally miss your light.”
While it’s “difficult to gauge” how many people were speeding in the first hour they were there, Jandu estimated it was probably the “majority” of drivers.
“On a highway, I would say more people are going over the speed limit than going the actual speed limit. Only because everyone is going fast, so because of that you want to go with the flow of traffic.”
And Joanne Bergman says speeding is a contributing factor and leading cause of traffic fatalities in the province.
Bergman, ICBC road safety and community coordinator, said in the Lower Mainland 27 people are killed in speed-related crashes every year.
She added it’s important to have initiatives like “Project Swoop” because the “volunteers are a big backbone to the awareness and education that we bring to the communities.”
“If we didn’t have them around, we’d probably have more crashes in the community. Nine-our-of-10 times when a person drives through, you see them slow down, you see those numbers click lower onto that speed-reader board because they were reminded.”
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