By Catherine O’Hara
Hwy. 6 is a multi-lane thoroughfare that takes commuters from Hwy. 403 to Hwy. 401. But the Flamborough stretch of the busy highway is more than just a connector road. Hwy. 6 is home to numerous businesses and residences – a community. In an attempt to keep that community safe, the Hamilton Police Service is launching a problem-oriented policing (POP) initiative.
Safe on Six, which will run for the next three months, will see officers with Hamilton’s police service actively patrol the stretch of roadway between Clappison’s Corners and Maddaugh Road.
The POP will focus on a variety of traffic initiatives to help curb excessive speeding, distracted driving incidences, ensure seatbelt compliance and promote overall safety on the highway and its adjoining concessions and roads.
Although the Ontario Provincial Police typically patrols Hwy. 6, members of the Hamilton Police Service often hear from concerned residents who travel or live along that stretch.
“We are still responsible for the community,” said HPS constable Anthony Vlope.
Throughout the three-month initiative, HPS will keep track of the number of stops, interactions and citations. Following the completion of the POP, officers will review the data, which Vlope expects will shed light on just how busy the highway is. The data can also be used to develop other POP initiatives.
The timing of this POP couldn’t be better, noted Vlope. For the next three months, motorists can expect snow and icy conditions on the highway. “There have been collisions, which resulted in deaths due to bad weather. Educating people that, just because the road is straight and true, it doesn’t mean that there is no ice or wind (that could affect driving conditions),” said the officer.
In addition, Vlope wants to reassure residents that police are taking steps to promote safety. “The biggest thing is reassuring the people...that they are being heard, they are being focused on and they haven’t been forgotten,” he said. “Each day that we are out there enforcing traffic, they are always in mind because we hear their stories.”