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Ottawa police launch new strategy to address speeding and traffic concerns in neighbourhoods

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) says a new traffic enforcement approach to improve safety across the city without compromising calls for service kicks off Monday. (The Ottawa Police Service/ X) The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) says a new traffic enforcement approach to improve safety across the city without compromising calls for service kicks off Monday. (The Ottawa Police Service/ X)

The Ottawa Police Service rolls out a new traffic enforcement strategy on Monday, with frontline officers increasing their focus on speeding, impaired driving and the traffic concerns raised by residents in neighbourhoods across the city.

The new 'frontline traffic enforcement' strategy is part of the 'community policing strategy and district deployment model' pilot project that Ottawa police will conduct over the next 18 months, which is designed to identify and respond to unique issues in each area of the city.  Police say the primary focus of the district model is to "serve each community better," with the city divided into four districts.

As part of the new strategy, frontline officers will conduct 18 traffic enforcement initiatives every three months, focusing on speeding, stunt driving, impaired driving and "residential-area intersection compliance."

"Traffic-related issues vary from one community to the next; with that in mind, we’re adjusting the way we do business by focusing on issues that adversely impact residents’ quality of life and aligning our resource deployments to address those issues," Sgt. Craig Roberts, Ottawa Police Service District Traffic Manager, said in a statement.

Roberts told Newstalk 580 CFRA on Monday that police will be looking to establish a "high visibility presence" at small intersections and on major roads across the city.

"Just to ensure that residents are seeing out us out there and seeing us getting the job done when it comes to address high-risk drivers or illegal behaviour on the roads," Roberts said.

Speeding and traffic enforcement in residential areas have been some of the main concerns raised by residents and councillors.  A survey released by the Ottawa Police Services Board last August found 53 per cent of respondents said traffic safety was a concern for them in their community. The survey showed 38 per cent of respondents ranked traffic safety, including enforcement measures, as one of their priorities for police to focus on.

"We want to be as responsive to residents' concerns about traffic issues and traffic safety as possible," Roberts told Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa at Work with Patricia Boal.

"Traffic is something that impacts everyone in every community across the city, and we want to make sure that our officers when they're spending time doing enforcement are able to deploy to locations that are intelligence led and strategically selected."

Police say frontline officers will use feedback from councillors and the community, information from the Fatal Collision Review Committee and speeding data to "strategically deploy to problem areas."

"With the support of the OPS District Traffic Manager, enforcement by frontline officers will increase to focus on communities’ varying traffic concerns," police said in a media release.

In addition to the increased enforcement, officers will also be focusing on educating drivers on "safe driving behaviour."

"We recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all when addressing Ottawa’s traffic concerns. For example, rural communities’ traffic concerns can vary from those of their suburban and urban counterparts," Acting Supt. Marc-Andre Sheehy said in a statement. "So it’s important that we listen to communities’ priorities and adjust our enforcement plans accordingly." 

Police say the new approach by frontline officers to traffic enforcement will dedicate resources to traffic issues, "without compromising the OPS' ability to respond to calls for service or overall response times."

Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley is hopeful this new program will make a difference and make communities safer.

"The more the more of a presence that we can get from the police in the community, the better," he said. "It also means that the individual officers that will be working the area will have somebody there reporting in the area as well. And that all helps."

Hubley said that if residents have any concerns or witness an incident on nearby roads to call police instead of posting on social media.

On Friday, police say officers responded to calls for service on Eagleson Drive around 9:20 p.m. and again around 9:50 p.m. because of street racing. Officers stopped several vehicles. One driver was charged with stunt driving, received licence suspension and had their vehicle was towed.

"The good news is once people started reporting it to the police, there was a quick police response to break those (races) up. However, there was a delay because the first people were posting that on social media and expecting the police to see that," said Hubley.

"However, for me it's a real issue because why do people think it's okay to street race at eight or nine, ten at night when there's young families trying to put their kids to bed and everything and you're racing right by their homes? Like there's people walking up and down the street and everything. It's a really, really dangerous move on these people's part."

Traffic and speeding issues is a concern among most of Hubley's colleagues on city council. "It's a across the city issue," he says. 

Police share the following safety tips when driving:

The Ottawa Police Service issued the following safety tips for motorists:

  • Suspect an impaired driver? Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Speeding puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. Police ask motorists to, "consider safety each time you get behind the wheel."
  • Consider your driving habits and vehicle noise when driving. "We all have a responsibility to keep our neighbourhoods as quiet and safe as possible," police said.
  • When at an intersection, obey all signage and come to complete stops.

To make a traffic enforcement request, visit

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Leah Larocque Top Stories

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