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Yukon municipalities push for changes to traffic laws

Speeding a problem in all communities, Streicker says
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A resolution brought by the City of Whitehorse to the annual general meeting for the Association of Yukon Communities, could see changes such as increased fines made to the Motor Vehicles Act. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

A resolution brought by the City of Whitehorse could see changes made to the Motor Vehicles Act.

The city brought the resolution to the annual general meeting for the Association of Yukon Communities, held in Dawson City from May 10 to 13.

Mayor Dan Curtis had previously told the News the city introduced the resolution as a response to resident concerns over speeding and unsafe driving conditions across Whitehorse.

Community Services Minister John Streicker, told the News May 23 he wasn’t surprised to see the resolution. He said that, in speaking with communities, he knows traffic and speeding have been ongoing concerns.

Whitehorse Coun. Samson Hartland said that when the issue came up at the AGM, it sparked more conversation than any other resolution.

“Some of the discussion following that was actually quite supportive,” said Hartland. “It sounded like there was actually very much a synergy among the communities when it comes to this.”

Hartland said the communities experience different traffic problems than Whitehorse does.

“The volume of traffic is different in communities,” said Streicker. But they’ve all talked to him about speed concerns, especially near schools. “There may be a difference in terms of scale, but the problems are the same.”

The Yukon government has already increased fines for speeding and distracted driving, nearly doubling the penalty in some cases. Driving less than 15 km/h over the limit now carries a $50 penalty, up from $25, and driving more than 50 km/h over the limit carries a $200 penalty, up from $150.

Since the AGM, Streicker said Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn has announced the Motor Vehicle Act and the Summary Convictions Act will be opened up for review.

Streicker said he doesn’t know what the timeline looks like on making and enacting changes, but said nothing will happen until after the fall sitting in October.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com