A group of suburban Aldergrove neighbours are demanding that something be done about speeding drivers after a car crashed through one of their properties and fled, leaving a trail of damages Tuesday night.
George Sabiston was sitting up stairs in his front room when he heard the noise and looked out to see a car had crashed through his cedar hedging, crossed his lawn and smacked into the side his parked Jimmy with such force that it was pushed into another row of hedging.
By the time he had run downstairs the small car had backed up and squealed off into the night. He was unable to get a license plate number and in the darkness he was also unable to determine the make or model of the car, other than it appeared to be a dark-coloured smaller import.
Two children residing across the street observed the incident from a window and told Sabiston that the damaged car had made a lot of noise driving off, likely due to losing its exhaust system when it pushed over the six-foot tall hedging.
Sabiston’s 1998 Jimmy is heavily damaged and likely a write-off.
Sabiston resides at the corner of 271A Street and 26A Avenue, and says he has frequently complained to RCMP and the Township about drivers taking the 90 degree turn in the road at excessive speeds.
His neighbors concur with his concerns, noting that children use the sidewalks on this route to get to the nearby Betty Gilbert Middle and Aldergrove Secondary schools.
Heidi Zator has lived here for 20 years and says she’s seen cars and pickup trucks racing along the boulevard and coming onto the sidewalk when they turn the sharp corner. Last spring youths in a stolen car crashed into her neighbor’s tree and ran off to escape with friends in another car.
Ray and Gladys McKitrick have lived here for 11 years and say the speeding has gotten worse in recent years after new connecting roads made it a through way instead of a culdesac. They have had three or four cars come across their lawn because they’ve left the road.
“Instead of driving the speed limit they hit the gas, slam the brakes and do what they call ‘drifting’ sideways through the corner,” said Gladys.
“We’ve asked the Township for traffic calming, speed bumps to slow them down,” said Sabiston. “And I’ve invited the police to sit in my yard and catch them, but we don’t seem to get much help from them either.”
Sabiston received a letter from Paul Cordeiro, Township manager of transportation engineering, in response to his complaint earlier this year. Cordeiro notes that traffic calming was studied at over 50 areas of the Township but funding was only provided for two installations at school zones.
Cordeiro also noted that surveys of speed in Sabiston’s neighbourhood done in 2010 found “no significant speeding issues,” as over 85 per cent of drivers were at or below the posted limits.
Cordeiro suggested that the neighbourhood volunteer under the SpeedWatch program to man reader boards which display vehicular speed to passing motorists.
“This program can have a powerful impact on driver behaviour, but the success of the program depends on members of the community volunteering their time,” wrote Cordeiro, who also suggested neighbours gather plate numbers of reckless drivers and report these to police.
“The RCMP welcomes individual information from residents who are concerned about reckless driving behaviour. In order for the RCMP to utilize their staff in the most effective manner, specific information should be provided such as the time of day, vehicle make/model, and the licence plate of the offending vehicle if possible,” wrote Cordeiro.