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Police looking to stop problem drivers on Taunton

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

A growing number of collisions over the last two years has led the Durham police to conduct an initiative to stop aggressive driving on Taunton Road.

Since the beginning of 2015, Taunton has seen 1,805 collisions region-wide, five of them fatal and 341 more leading to personal injury.

Throughout the month of March, a number of officers from the Traffic Services branch and other divisions will be focusing on Taunton Road across Durham Region and the concerns from the community about aggressive drivers.

For Const. George Tudos, spokesperson with the DRPS, the numbers speak for themselves.

“Definitely, there’s some enforcement to be done,” he says.

“To hopefully get the numbers down or educate the public on speed limits and making sure they’re safe on the road.”

And while Tudos stopped short of labelling Taunton as one of the more dangerous roads in the region, he says because of its nature as an arterial road, more attention should be focused there.

“I wouldn’t say dangerous, because I’m not going to compare it to other roads, but it is one of the main arteries for Durham Region,” he says.

The initiative drew the support of several regional councillors, who shared their support during the most recent committee of the whole meeting on March 1.

For Councillor Bob Chapman, the corner of Harmony Road and Taunton should be of particular concern.

“There’s a number of accidents at the corner of Harmony and Taunton Road. The design is very open, and it’s got arrows, but it’s the people that pull into the middle of the intersection and try to beat the light because they want to make the turn because of the amount of traffic, would that be on their radar as well to suggest more enforcement in certain areas?” he says.

Councillor John Aker says the problem with Taunton is perhaps a lack in judgement when it comes to design.

“It’s fairly obvious to me why there’s a lot of accidents on Taunton Road. As you travel through the City of Oshawa on Rossland, it just peters out. It just dies. So everybody travelling eastbound across Rossland has to turn at Simcoe, Ritson, Wilson or Harmony,” he says. “So they’re all being jammed on to Taunton Road — it’s as simple as that.”

– with files from Graeme McNaughton