An assortment of new signs have been installed within the three recently created community safety zones in Central Huron with warnings of increased fines and signalling for motorists they need to slow down.
Following an increase in concerns from residents, the council passed Bylaw 2019-77 before the Christmas break with intentions to install signage in early January.
The signs have now been installed and fines have gone into effect in accordance with the Highway Traffic Act and Regulations.
In total there are three “community safety zone begins” signs, three “community safety zone ends” signs, two “community safety zone” signs, eight “fines double” and five “40 km/hr” signs.
The bylaw establishes and designates a series of community safety zone which are in close proximity to the school.
“At Central Huron Secondary School we are always focused on the safety and well-being of our students. Our neighbours, and the entire Clinton community, have always been very supportive of the school and we appreciate their efforts to make our community a safer place,” said Chris Smith, principal at Central Huron Secondary School. “We support and embrace this change and hope that it means that our neighbourhood is safer because of it.
Signs now indicate the area is a 40 kilometre per hour zone – whereas before the speed limit was not posted – and a reminder that fines double for motorists who fail to obey the speed limit the community safety zone.
According to Central Huron CAO/Deputy Treasurer Steve Doherty, the signs came with a price tag of $1,750. Additional cost was also incurred for staff to put them up.
“I believe roads department rented a vac/sucker truck to place to posts. All in I’d say we’re in the ballpark of $3,000,” said Doherty.
The cost of purchasing and install the signs were covered by the roads department’s operational budget.
The issue first surfaced when Dan and Marion Gowing approached Central Huron during their Sept. 16 council meeting where they pleaded for the municipality to address concerns of speeding along their street.
After the couple felt their issue had been received – but not adequately addressed – they took to the streets with a petition in hand to amass signatures from their neighbours.
The petition – which collected 64 signatures from 53 houses within a week – spurred Central Huron councillors to consider options to increase the safety of the community.
On Dec. 16 Central Huron passed the bylaw.
“It would be great to add flashing lights to the area to provide some extra safety measures or incorporate Rattenbury Street, but we are incredibly happy with the quick response from the community,” said Marion Gowing.
The community safety zone has been established to incorporate Princess Street East from Park Lane to Smith Lane and Percival Street from Ontario Street to Princess Street East.
It will be in effect 24 hours a day seven days a week.