Iqaluit warns drivers to slow down or else
Enforcement officers will be “stepping up patrols within the core area"
Watch out high-flying Iqaluit motorists — the city’s municipal enforcement officers are cracking down on speeding and other traffic violations, like failing to obey stop signs and failing to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk.
A City of Iqaluit public service announcement, released Aug. 16, warned that its enforcement officers will be “stepping up patrols within the core area” and that motorists can be “subjected to fines for any infractions.”
Although no speed traps will be set up in the city, chief municipal officer Kevin Sloboda said more of a presence from officers will slow people down.
“We’re just going to monitor the traffic and observe what’s going on and make sure people are paying attention,” Sloboda said.
And Sloboda isn’t expecting more fines given at the end of the month because of the increased presence.
Those fines, however, specifically outlined in the announcement, are for speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, and failing to yield to a pedestrian at a cross walk.
Speeding can cost you anywhere between $100 to $250. Failing to stop at a stop sign carries a $150 penalty. And you’ll have to pay $75 if you fail to yield to a pedestrian at a cross walk.
“The City of Iqaluit would like to remind all citizens to be cautious and alert when travelling around the roadways within the downtown core area and around Arctic Ventures,” the PSA read.
The announcement also cautions pedestrians who try to cross the street at points other than a crosswalk.
“Please note that all pedestrians crossing a roadway at a point other than within a crosswalk, the pedestrian shall yield the right of way to all drivers,” the announcement said.
The warnings coms after two separate incidents within a month in which pedestrians were injured on Queen Elizabeth Way.
On July 29, four-year-old Tyler Enookie Qaqqasiq was struck and killed by a vehicle near the four-way stop by 190s block of buildings.
And a teenager was hit by a car on Aug. 14 in front of the nearby Arctic Ventures store.
But chief municipal enforcement officer Kevin Sloboda said it’s just a coincidence that the two incidents happened around Arctic Ventures, and that in the three years he’s been in Iqaluit, there haven’t been major problems with the Arctic Ventures parking lot.
“That’s just a bit of a busy area. And it’s to be expected,” Sloboda said.
“As traffic increases, like anything else, more traffic, more demand, more congestion,” he said.
Coun. Joanasie Akumalik said at the last city council meeting that the city should install more visible markers on busy pedestrian crossings.
That’s something Sloboda can support.
“As anyone in city of Iqaluit, the more means of presence in view is always better for the city. I’m always up for anything positive in that nature,” Sloboda said.
Akumalik said high pedestrian traffic areas such as the arena, airport and major stores need crosswalks with lines marked on the asphalt. Coun. Mark Morrissey also said adding removable speed bumps could slow traffic down.