Traffic safety is far down the list of reasons for speed traps
Here’s some advice for Toronto drivers: On a warm spring day, keep a close eye on the speedometer when heading down a long hill.
If the weather is sunny and visibility is good, it’s 50-50 that a Toronto police officer is standing part way up the other side of the hill, with a radar gun trained on your car.
Police like to tell the public that the prime motivation for enforcing speed limits is traffic safety. I am here to tell you they are full of it.
A story in the Star last year noted that of all cities in North America, Toronto is the speed trap capital. I’ve seen a lot of evidence to support that theory, as recently as Sunday.
I was driving east on Ellesmere Ave., starting down the long hill west of Neilson Rd., when I noticed that a friendly bus driver headed my way was flicking his headlights on and off.
Sure enough, as I started up the other side of the hill I saw a cop standing by a utility pole, which partially obscured him from oncoming traffic, pointing a radar gun at traffic coming down the hill behind me.
It was no problem for me; I kept my speed at 60 k/ph, but it was like shooting fish in a barrel for him. Who hasn’t descended a long hill and noticed they were going 15 or 20 k/ph higher than the limit?
That’s more than enough to get a ticket.
I continued east to Morningside Ave. and turned right to go south. A long hill on Morningside bottoms out near Ellesmere then climbs steeply, on the way south to Kingston Rd.
Part way up, I spot another cop pointing a radar gun at traffic coming down the hill. Two speed traps in five minutes, only a couple kilometres apart.
Traffic was light, the weather was clear and sunny and there was no reason for them to be there, except to top up a ticket quota.
I have often seen Toronto police clocking vehicles coming down a long hill, the most likely place for even careful drivers to slightly exceed the limit.
Aren’t there more important things for police to do than fish for speeders in the most likely places for law-abiding drivers to go just fast enough to qualify for a ticket?
Aren’t there a hundred other places where traffic safety might be more of an issue, but the fishing may not be nearly as good?