Cpl. Julie Bion, ICBC’s Leanne Cassap, and the Township’s Dev Fletcher crewed a SWOOP station in Langley, part of an effort to slow down drivers from White Rock to Abbotsford Wednesday. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

SWOOP aims at slowing down traffic on Fraser Highway

Officers are out in Langley, Surrey, Abbotsford, and White Rock

Police were out at multiple locations along the Fraser Highway corridor Wednesday in another attempt to get drivers to slow down.

Speed Watch Out On Patrol (SWOOP) is the second such effort, after an operation last year that saw officers and Speed Watch volunteers trying to slow down on Highway 10.

Large signs posted the actual speed limit, followed by Speed Watch digital boards that showed drivers how fast they were actually moving.

The goal is to try to remind drivers to slow down to the speed limit over a whole stretch of major roadway, explained Leanne Cassap of ICBC.

Police and ICBC hope that the impact is felt long after just passing one such station.

“That’s our hope,” said Cpl. Julie Bion, who was at one of the two Langley SWOOP locations on Wednesday morning. “That it’s a good reminder, ‘Yeah, I need to slow down,’ and that it sticks longer than the time it takes to go through the enforcement zone.”

RCMP in Surrey, Langley, and White Rock and the Abbotsford Police were all out during Wednesday, with police cruisers and signs either on Fraser Highway or on major routes connected to it. Drivers could easily meet two or three SWOOP stations during a drive east or west.

The Langley location was on Highway 10 just south of Fraser Highway, where the speed limit is 70 km/h, but typical traffic speed is higher if there is no congestion.

On Wednesday, drivers were slowing down to between 60 and 40 km/h as they passed the SWOOP station.

Dev Fletcher, a civilian employee who coordinates crime prevention and Speed Watch programs, was out on Highway 10 as part of the project.

“We get a lot of people that give us a thumbs up or a wave,” he said of the Speed Watch stations.

Such stations are set up all over Langley, run largely by volunteers. They tend towards areas where there’s been concern about speeding, including school zones and residential areas.

Aside from Speed Watch, local police also run more targeted attempts to catch distracted or dangerous drivers, including blitzes on April 27 and 30.

A checkstop on April 27 on the 204th Street overpass netted stops including two drivers without licenses and two new drivers fined for having too many passengers.

A team up on April 30 with the CN and CP Rail police on Fraser Highway caught 20 drivers stopping too close to the railway tracks, six speeders, two people using an electronic device while driving, a driver with no insurance and a new driver who wasn’t displaying an N on their car.

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