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Public input sought on potential speed limit reduction in Sarnia

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Should Sarnia speed limits drop to 40 kilometres per hour?

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Sarnia city council approved asking that question  after a staff report on community safety zones – 40 km/h speed limits around four city schools – suggested the recent pilot initiative had limited effect around P.E. McGibbon school.

A potential citywide speed limit reduction could include dropping the limit to 40 km/h on local and collector roads but not arterial roads; dropping the speed limit in school zones and areas around community parks, hospitals and nursing homes; or designating neighbourhoods for lower speed limits, city staff said in the report.

Intermittent lower speed limits generally aren’t adhered to by drivers, city staff said, but officials noted having a more widespread lower speed limit could be more effective.

The report also recommended staff look further into photo radar for speed enforcement. Council passed a motion in 2019 allowing automated speed enforcement.

Council on Sept. 13 voted 7-2 in favour of getting public input on a potential citywide speed limit reduction and for staff to look into photo-radar options.

Coun. Terry Burrell said he was opposed because there’s been no call from the public that he’s seen for widespread speed reduction.

There have been concerns expressed about speeding though, said Coun. Brian White.

“If we want public input on this, we should probably go out to the public for engagement,” he said.

Coun. Mike Stark also voted against seeking public input.

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