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The city of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Police Service have teamed up on a new initiative to reduce speeding in residential areas. 

The new program is called "Please Slow Down" and was created and recommended to the city by the Winnipeg Committee for Safety, a citizen-advisory group to City Council. The program will see the city give out lawn signs that ask drivers to slow down in areas where kids might be playing. 

"In 2017, 158 service requests were made to 311 to look at speed limits, concerns and traffic calming measures," Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) said. 

Gilroy says each city councillor will receive 35 lawn signs, which will be given out to members of the public free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. She says people can acquire them by simply contacting their local city councillor. 

"Similar campaigns have been successful in other Canadian municipalities, including Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, St. John's and Chilliwack," Gilroy said. "We will measure the success of this pilot project by looking at citizen's interest, feedback and reduction to 311 calls regarding residential speeding." 

Inspector Gord Spado is with the Winnipeg Police Service's Traffic Division.

SLOW DOWN SIGN

He says police don't do a lot of enforcement in residential areas, but he has witnessed people speeding by his home on a number of occasions. 

"Police use enforcement as one means of trying to change driving behaviour," Spado said. "But education and awareness are much more effective for making positive change to driving behaviour." 

Spado says the hope is people will see these signs and not speed or realize they don't need to drive the speed limit in residential areas. 

"In reality, some people will think 'I'm doing 50, that's the speed limit so this doesn't apply to me'," Spado said. "But we're hoping the message is getting out that being in residential areas where kids can dart out at any time, people need to be a little more cognizant and say to themselves 'you know I don't necessarily need to do 50, it's not that important for that extra couple seconds it's going to save me.'" 

Spado says speeding is the primary contributing factor in 20 per cent of all collisions and 25 per cent of fatal collisions. 

For more information on the program, visit winnipegsafety.ca.