The County of Brant has launched a unique initiative to support their strategy to create safer streets in the community.
The program encourages residents to become Ambassadors for safe driving by joining their Pace Car program. Brant County Mayor David Bailey, explains a Pace Car driver silently swears they will be courteous drivers, obey speed limits and go out of their way to be helpful. Residents are invited to register as a participant at the county office in Paris. The registration comes with a magnetic sticker for the back of the car.
“Hopefully there will be a lot of people driving around Paris and the county with these pace maker stickers on the back of their car…we expect people with the markers to be mindful of the traffic regulations and if they do, and a lot of people do, we should at least have a small part of the problem solved.”David Bailey, Brant County Mayor
The county has a mandate to grow and meeting it. The current population is just over 37 000 and is forecasted to increase to 57 000 over the next 20 years. The rapid growth, however, has also come with new challenges. Bailey says, prior to the onslaught of construction, traffic issues were a fear, but now a reality.
“People are moving in now so we have more bodies in the town of Paris now and they are coming fast and furious because the building of some sub divisions are being completed, so we’re noticing a difference in the volume on the streets.”David Bailey, Brant County Mayor
Bailey adds, in the master plan there are also pieces of infrastructure for streets in the shopping district downtown Paris. He says, it will be important to slow down traffic in that area and support the growth of tourism they’ve experienced.
“We have the tourists who are very excited to be here and maybe not being as careful as they could be or maybe a little bit confused. There’s a lot of jay-walking right now, there’s a lot of close calls, and horns beeping and people being upset with the volume of people on the streets. And the tourists aren’t around long enough to care about learning the systems…so with very different groups of people, the streets just start to look a little chaotic.”David Bailey, Brant County Mayor
A recent study found speeding is a growing concern on Brant County roads, however, it was not the main culprit for accidents. The traffic review found the main cause of accidents are distracted driving, aggressive driving and contact with animals on the road.