Councillor Don Bell would like the RCMP to give warnings before issuing tickets at a busy intersection on Lonsdale where City of North Vancouver introduced new rules last week.
Last week, the city announced it won’t allow left turns on Lonsdale at 15th Street. “Too many pedestrian injuries there. So, no left turns northbound or southbound on Lonsdale at 15th Street,” the city said.
In a response to Bell’s query, the director of engineering informed the council that the intersection was the location with the highest number of pedestrian injuries in the city, which prompted the change. He added that it was up to RCMP to relax any traffic enforcement.
Bell’s enquiry was the result of a letter he received from a citizen who said that he was ticketed the day the rule went into effect. In a conversation with the police officer who gave him the ticket, the resident found out the officer had handed out close to 30 tickets at the intersection.
Bell said he had also noticed the sign that would tell people about the new rule had also not been installed. He later called the officials to get them to install a sign informing people about the new no left-turn rule on 15th Street.
Bell hopes the local RCMP would take a less aggressive approach on ticketing, with the exception of reckless drivers.
“I live in that area, and I can tell you I may have made a left turn because the rule is so new. I think for some period of time, they should just be handing out warnings, unless of course, they are dealing with a bad, careless driver,” he says.
Bell says he is aware that 15th Street is a very busy intersection, with a high possibility of drivers having to focus on too many things which makes the chances of a pedestrian injury high. However, Bell wants to make it clear he isn’t advocating for bad drivers, but just hoping that people would be given some time to adjust.
“I understand cops have to make a choice, but at that intersection, most people have to wait for traffic to clear before they make a left turn. Bad drivers excepted, I feel the RCMP could perhaps give warnings because that is such a new change,” he said.
Bell says on reflection he would have appreciated the staff coming before the council to discuss the change before moving ahead with it. “The council had no knowledge of this decision. I would have appreciated the heads-up,” he says.