An update from Bruce Peninsula Safe Communities Committee
The Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reporting a 69% decrease in stunt driving throughout their jurisdiction.
On Highway 6, Wiarton north to Tobermory, there has been an 85.5% decrease in stunt driving charges. There has also been a decrease this year for traffic complaints made to the OPP, for the same stretch of highway.
· 2020 – all Grey Bruce OPP stunt driving charges: 221
· 2021 – all Grey Bruce OPP stunt driving charges: 68, Wiarton to Tobermory highway 6: 32
In 2017, after experiencing 5 deaths on highway 6, the Bruce Peninsula Safe Communities Committee (BPSCC) embarked on an effort to reduce the aggressive driving on the highway. In partnership with the OPP, Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Owen Sound Transportation Company, municipal partners and concerned citizens the BPSCC created signage highlighting the issue, social media messaging as well as data collection.
Grey Bruce OPP collected speed data, utilizing SpeedSpy devices purchased by the BPSCC and subsequently embarked on intensive traffic enforcement in 2019 through 2021.
In 2020, the MTO supported the BPSCC with a grant managed by the United Way of Bruce Grey to create materials for a local and provincial message through streaming services and print advertising.
The BPSCC is also celebrating the extension of the 60 kilometre per hour zone at the north end of Ferndale, a request the BPSCC supported to ensure safety at the Ferndale Tourist Information Centre, playground and Northern Bruce Peninsula work yard.
“I am pleased to see a decrease in stunt driving in our area and applaud everyone who has played a role to achieve this improvement. I also plead with everyone to remain diligent and obey the speed limit every time they are behind the wheel, and continue to keep our roads and communities safe,” said MPP Bill Walker of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
Brandon Gale, Acting Staff Sergeant of Grey Bruce Detachment, Ontario Provincial Police said that, “The Ontario Provincial Police is committed to traffic safety on Ontario roads. We value the partnerships with all of community partners and community stakeholders. The OPP, like a lot of other services, are facing the same challenges of the continuing pandemic. We will continue to apply our resources to preserve public safety and provide a high level of service to the communities of Grey and Bruce County.”
“It takes all partners to change behaviours and this year’s results demonstrate how effective it can be when we work together as a community,” said Terry Bell, Chair, Bruce Peninsula Safe Communities Committee.
The stretch of Highway 6 between Wiarton and Tobermory is about 76 kilometres in length, accounting for only 0.06 per cent of the nearly 120 000 kilometers of paved, roads in Ontario.
Yet, nearly 2% of the 13 000 stunt driving charges laid in Ontario last year were laid on that section of Highway 6.
Founded in 2014 The Bruce Peninsula Safe Communities Committee is focused on injury prevention and community safety for the Peninsula region. They’ve conducted distracted driving awareness campaigns with our young drivers, instituted an AED program for Sauble Beach and other municipal parks working closely with the Bruce Peninsula OPP and other community based organizations on community safety.
In August of 2017 a fiery 2 vehicle crash took the lives of 4 people, including Traves Atchison and Jana Watson who were visiting the region. The Atchison family remains connected to the region and regularly speak in partnership with the Grey Bruce OPP on the impact the loss of their family members has had.