Today, Jim Watson announced how he would strengthen community and road safety over the next four years.
“Earlier this month, as children returned to school, the Ottawa Police undertook an enforcement blitz in school zones that clearly showed that we still have a lot of work to do to make our residential streets safer for our residents, families and their children. Although we’ve made progress, we have to take an even more aggressive approach to make community safety a daily priority for each and every resident of Ottawa,” said Jim Watson.
The enforcement blitz led to 540 infractions, including three people who were charged with stunt driving, 59 distracted drivers and 358 who were caught speeding in school zones.
If he is re-elected, Jim Watson will:
- Hire an additional 75 police officers over the next four years, including fifteen new officers that would be dedicated to traffic and enforcing speeding violations in neighbourhoods
- Hire an additional 56 paramedics over the next four years, in order to improve response times for residents across the city, including our rural and suburban communities
- Increase funding for the highly successful traffic calming measures in each ward from $40,000 to $50,000 annually, an increase of 25%
- Pilot new safety technologies like speed enforcement photo-radar cameras to catch speeding drivers in school zones
- Double fines in many high-risk school zones by designating them as Community Safety Zones
- Decrease the incidence of red light running and collisions by adding an additional 20 new Red Light Cameras at the most high risk intersections for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists
- Fund an additional 40 crossing guards across the city (where minimum warrants are satisfied) by 2022, for an additional investment of $1.2 million over the next term of Council
“One of our key goals is to reduce aggressive driving and speeding in areas that have a high concentration of schoolchildren, pedestrians and cyclists,” stated Mayor Watson. “If accidents do happen, I want our first responders to be able to respond quickly and effectively, which is why these 56 new paramedics and 75 new police officers are so needed.”
As Ottawa grows, we need to ensure that we have the resources in place to continue reducing crime, support community policing and enhance paramedic service throughout the city, including in our fast growing suburban and rural communities.