More eyes are needed for two new traffic-watch programs being launched in Trail this fall.
Volunteers who sign up with “Speed Watch” and “Cell Watch” will play a vital role in helping the local detachment determine the most problematic areas for speeding and distracted driving on municipal streets and school zones.
Both programs are sponsored by ICBC, and being run by Trail Citizens on Patrol (COP), in conjunction with the Trail and Greater District RCMP and the City of Trail.
“For the Speed Watch program, volunteers will set up clearly marked speed boards in areas where motorists are known to speed,” explained Sgt. Mike Wicentowich of the Trail RCMP.
“The volunteers will record the licence plate numbers of those going over the posted speed limit, and will forward the information to the RCMP.”
The Cell Watch program is designed with a similar structure and will require volunteers to set up clearly marked stations where they will watch for drivers who are distracted by their cell phones.
Based on these observations, Wicentowich says police will follow up with appropriate action such as a violation ticket, if the driving offence is deemed serious enough.
“These programs will help the RCMP assess the most problematic areas and provide statistics on the rate of offending,” he said.
“This will allow the RCMP to spend more time conducting enforcement in specific areas and making our roads safer overall.”
More Trail COP volunteers are required to help bring these programs to fruition.
“The program is always recruiting volunteers and we encourage interested citizens to apply,” Wicentowich explained. “Through our COP coordinator, all volunteers will receive comprehensive training to learn how to work safely and effectively. Volunteering for Trail COP is a great way to support and contribute to the safety of our community.”
Anyone interested in applying can contact the COP coordinator at TrailCOP@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or view the information at www.trail.ca/COP.
About the Citizens on Patrol program:
The COP program, a joint program between the City of Trail and the Greater Trail RCMP, is funded within the City’s $2.4 million Policing Services Budget.
The COP Coordinator works with the city and RCMP to recruit and train volunteers to help reduce crime through being an extra set of eyes and ears within the community.
The program supports its volunteers with comprehensive training and all required materials to effectively perform their duties. Using marked vehicles, the teams of volunteers patrol local neighbourhoods to observe and report suspicious activity.
Volunteers never interact in any potentially criminal or dangerous situation – all suspicious or criminal activity is reported to the RCMP. The program is always recruiting volunteers; anyone interested in applying for a COP volunteer position can view more information at www.trail.ca/COP.