Speed Watch Program
The speed limit on all streets in Winnipeg is 50 km/h, unless otherwise stated. Higher speed limits are posted on streets designed to move traffic from one part of the City to another (e.g., Lagimodiere Boulevard moves north/south traffic on the east side of Winnipeg). These streets are called Regional Streets. However, the nature of residential streets in Winnipeg is to move local traffic within communities, and because of this, the speed limit remains at 50 km/h. For a variety of reasons, some motorists may travel at speeds higher than that of the speed limit on residential streets.
Many residents are concerned about these higher speeds because of the potential impacts on safety, and the general quality of life on residential streets.
In general, police enforcement helps modify driver behaviour, however, due to limited resources, police officers cannot always provide service for this type of issue.
Driver behaviour may also be modified through the use of new technologies that can potentially be used in conjunction with enforcement. The SpeedWatch Program, a partnership between the City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Public Insurance makes use of such technologies.
This program involves the use of a speed detection and display device. Drivers are shown the speed at which they are travelling, and together with a "novelty effect" drivers usually reduce their travelling speed to voluntarily match the speed limits. This change in driver behaviour is normally attributed to the potential threat of having police officers on site.
The SpeedWatch program is divided into three components: Residential Streets, School Zones, and Regional Streets.
The SpeedWatch Residential Streets and School Zone programs rely on volunteers who borrow a speed reader board (a device that shows the speed limit and the speed of drivers), set it up and monitor drivers in areas of their community or school zones. The equipment is loaned for a one-week period and requires two volunteers to attend at all times. The Manitoba Association of School Trustees (MAST) is also a partner in the SpeedWatch School Zone program.
Those interested can call Manitoba Public Insurance SpeedWatch coordinator at 204-985–8737 or 1–888–767–7640 (toll free).