Peterborough County to explore photo radar on Highway 28 after string of fatal collisions
By Canadian Press
By Canadian Press
Sept. 12, 2021 – Peterborough County staff have been directed to report to council on the feasibility of implementing photo radar along stretches of Highway 28 amid mounting safety concerns brought on by a string of fatal collisions.
“Slow down and put the cameras up,” said Cavan Monaghan Mayor Scott McFadden at a Peterborough County council meeting on Wednesday.
“I don’t know why we’re bashful to put these things up. We’ve got an issue. We can deal with it. Put the cameras up,” continued McFadden, citing the prevalence and effectiveness of speed-tracking cameras throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Durham Region.
Council supported a letter from North Kawartha Township Coun. Colin McLennan to regional supervising coroner Dr. Paul Dungey calling for an inquest into one or more of the fatal collisions near the hamlets of Woodview and Big Cedar.
The 8.8-kilometre stretch between the two communities, known to some locals as “the Highway of Death,” has been the scene of several deadly collisions in recent years. Last month, a senior Stoney Creek couple were killed in a head-on collision near Big Cedar.
The latest fatality has led to an increased debate about solutions.
“Yesterday, the OPP pulled over a stunt driver doing 140 km/h in an 80 km/h zone, literally hundreds of feet from where that most recent fatal accident was,” said North Kawartha Mayor Carolyn Amyotte.
“I know (photo radar) may not be popular with everyone but unless we’re going to hire a whole bunch more cops to be on the road, this is a really good answer.”
Trent Lakes Township Coun. Terry Lambshead said his municipality uses a Black Cat radar system that measures speeds of passing vehicles and is less visible than other photo radar systems.
“We’ve set it up in many different locations in Trent Lakes and you find that there are some people doing 140k/h. Terrifying,” Lambshead said.
Peterborough County Warden and Douro-Dummer Mayor J. Murray Jones said Douro-Dummer Township uses Black Cat radar systems, too.
“We found someone doing 131 km/h on a little township road. This has got to stop. This is insanity. Maybe this can start the conversation a little longer and deeper; something’s gotta be done about this,” Jones said.
“There’s too many idiots out there,” he continued. “I’m sorry, but every road we talk about has got this going on. Every road; whether it’s county, township, province.”
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.