Radar boards gather dust

More volunteers are needed for the local Speedwatch campaign

For the past 20 years, District 69 Speedwatch has helped drivers get a handle on how fast they are going at hot spots throughout the area.

Now, says spokesperson Mike Bull, Speedwatch is in need of some help itself.

The group, he said, has been whittled down over the years from a high of 35 active members to just a handful today, meaning they aren’t able to monitor as many trouble spots as frequently as they would like.

“We are quite anxiously looking for additional people,” Bull said. “We are quite short. We are down to seven or eight members.”

That’s a problem, because Speedwatch has seven speed reader boards and, since volunteers normally work in teams of at least two, most of them end up not being used for much of the time.

“We cover a large area — between Deep Bay and Nanoose Bay and out to Coombs — but because of a shortage of active volunteers we can’t be as active as we would like,” he said. “We know there is a turnover and that’s to be expected, but we are on a bit of a treadmill.”

Volunteers, he said, are asked to devote just four hours every month to the program, just one hour every week.

“We don’t think that’s too much,” Bull said. “We used to have people out for four-hour stretches every week, but those days are gone.”

Monitoring people’s driving speed may not be the most glamorous of assignments, but Bull said his bottom line is that it works.

“Speedwatch makes a difference,” he said.  “It helps remind people of the speed limit and how fast people are going. As they go past the reader board we see the brake lights come on. That’s what we want to see.”

 

To join Speedwatch or for more information, call Mike Bull at 250-752-3946, visit the Oceanside RCMP detachment or visit  www.speedwatch.ca.