From January 1 to June 30, there were 315 traffic violations handed out, versus 543 within the same period last year, according to a report from West Shore RCMP. But those numbers are due to the fact that there was only a single police officer on the traffic unit. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

West Shore sees drop in traffic violations

The 315 violations in first six months of the year represent a 42 per cent decrease from 2018

Traffic violations on the West Shore have dropped by 42 per cent in 2019, compared to 2018 numbers – but that doesn’t mean fewer drivers are breaking the law.

From Jan. 1 to June 30, there were 315 traffic violations handed out, versus 543 within the same period last year, according to a report from West Shore RCMP.

The District of Highlands saw the greatest improvement, dropping from 12 infractions in 2018 to two in 2019, an 83 per cent decrease. The Town of View Royal saw the least improvement, lowering from 91 violations in 2018 to 61 this year, a 33 per cent change.

But those numbers are due to the fact that there was only a single police officer on the traffic unit.

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West Shore RCMP was supposed to have three officers on the traffic unit, but they’ve had problems keeping those positions full due to limited resources, according to media relations officer Const. Nancy Saggar.

The traffic unit is also tasked with investigating car crash deaths.

Back in January, there were two back-to-back fatalities and another just a few months later.

“These investigations are complex and officers of the traffic unit manage their time between enforcement and investigation, which may reflect in the lesser amount of violations handed out in the first part of 2019 compared to that same period in 2018,” Saggar said.

Notably, they are expecting to add two additional police officers by the end of year, which Saggar pointed out will “bolster [their] efforts for traffic enforcement on the West Shore.” This addition, including a June hire, will bring the unit to four members.

Drivers should be encouraged to pay attention on the roads. According to the report, popular hotspots for patrols include Veterans Memorial Parkway in Langford, Esquimalt Lagoon and Kelly Road in Colwood, Island Highway and Helmcken Road in View Royal, Happy Valley Road in Metchosin, and Millstream Avenue in the Highlands.

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