The City of Fort Saskatchewan is hard at work trying to reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities.
Fort Saskatchewan’s protective services director, Brad Ward and the city’s project management director, Grant Schaffer approached the city with a request at the Tuesday (Feb.27) meeting.
They asked administration to add $200,000 in Traffic Safety Program funding to the protective services department's 2018 operating budget. Doing so would restore the program's budget to $250,000.
"Traffic safety is not a one time application. It is ongoing and involves us all, drivers, pedestrians or cyclists. We need to anticipate where, when and how we may make a mistakes and then to take action to ensure that doesn't occur, or when it does, that the worst that will happen is a minor property damage collision," said Ward.
Vision Zero was adopted by council on Jan.9. Essentially, it's the Fort's new traffic safety philosophy, with a belief that all serious injury and fatal collisions can be avoided.
"The cost of collisions is exceedingly high... in the millions in direct and indirect costs," he noted.
Ward stressed that an investment in traffic safety can prevent unnecessary expenditures and unnecessary suffering.
"Think of the ripple impact of one person being seriously hurt or killed... how far beyond that person it extends, immediate family, extended family, the other motorist and their family, co-workers, societal impacts etc," said Ward.
A motion to amend the $200,000 request to $135,000 was passed by council.
So an additional $135,000 has been added to the Traffic Safety Program funding, which restores the protective services operating budget for the program to $185,000.
Ward expressed appreciation for council’s ongoing support of traffic safety and the tough decisions they make.
"With council passing a motion for administration to fund the protective services traffic safety budget at this level, we will be able to implement a number of key initiatives," he said.
That includes education, enforcement engineering, community engagement and evaluation to ensure the programs are effective.