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City programs aims to slow Springfield Road speeders

Kelowna city hall l is trying to put the breaks on Springfield Road speeders with the launch of its new Green Wave initiative.

Motorists will see speed reader boards, speed limits painted on the road and traffic signs starting Wednesday as the initiative officially rolls out.

Together with ICBC and the RCMP, the city is continuing to improve road safety on Springfield Road from Rutland Road South to Durnin Road using engineering, education and enforcement as tools to improve road safety. The move comes after statistics show that despite earlier efforts, the number of collisions on the road continues to climb.

"The Green Wave is an initiative that rewards motorists who adhere to the speed limit with green lights during morning westbound and evening eastbound peak travel times," says Fred Wollin, Kelowna's traffic operations supervisor.

The signal timings affect intersections from Ziprick to Hollywood roads.

"It's anticipated motorists will adjust their travelling behaviour if they realize they'll be speeding only to be faced with a red light," added Wollin.

For those who live near, and travel on, this traffic corridor every day, Springfield Road has been a focus of safety and operation improvements over the past five years to reduce speed and collisions along the corridor. But this efforts appear to have failed. So the city is stepping up its "3E" program, focussing on education, enforcement and engineering.

"We're pleased to be a partner in this initiative to help keep drivers along Springfield Road safe," said Sonny Senghera, ICBC road safety manager. "Speeding is the leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C. and when combined with the poor weather conditions at this time of year, dramatically increases your risk of crashing. Slow down and allow extra travel time so you get home safely."

On average, there are 63 crashes a year on Springfield Road (based on 2008 - 2011 data) many of these crashes are speed-related. "We will be implementing continued enforcement along Springfield Road, which will coincide with both engineering and education initiatives to increase the safety of that particular corridor," says Const. Kris Clark, media relations officer for the Kelowna RCMP.

To learn more about the initiative, visit kelowna.ca.

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