The RCMP have a new gun, a radar gun, and safety is the target.
The first radar gun of its kind in the community, it comes as both Nak’azdli and the Fort call for slower speeds on the highway through town, and greater safety for pedestrians on the highway.
There’s no need for drivers to worry about a storm of tickets coming quite yet, according to the police.
“We’re using the gun, not for enforcement, but for education,” said Const. Greg Pichler, adding, “but if they’re traveling at obscene speeds…” Then he shrugs as if the resulting ticket is out of his hands.
The leniency is only for a short time as the education segment of the crackdown will end, and the enforcement segment will kick in. Now is the time to learn.
As proof that the police are more concerned more with slowing traffic down than giving you a ticke,t they’re even willing to give the spots where they wait for speeders.
“Ever since the (traffic safety) meeting with Nak’azdli I’ve been sitting across from the Petro-Can in the reserve and stopping people,” said Pichler.
With the one-kilometre range of the new radar gun he can hit every car on the straight stretch through the reserve.
Cars in the reserve are pretty good, according to Pichler, but his other spot, in Cottonwood Park, is not so obedient to the speed limit coming down the grade into town, he said.
As tricky as the drivers with radar detectors think they are, it’s obvious to the officers.
“You can always tell which vehicles have a radar detector,” said Pichler, “by how fast they slow the vehicle down.”
This is just the beginning of the crackdown.
“We’re getting the equipment, now we just need the training,” said Staff Sgt. Paul Thalhoffer.
Now the RCMP in the Fort have three vehicle-mounted radars installed, and the one handheld radar gun. In the works, however, are the installation of one more vehicle-mounted radar gun, two more handheld radar guns, more officers trained using the radar guns and one unmarked vehicle.
Now is the time to lighten up that lead foot before you start a collection of tickets.