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In one of the most genius ideas we’ve seen in a while, the Delta Police Department is using social media to help manage safety and vehicular speed — with the ultimate goal of mitigating crashes — in their municipality.

As reported in the Delta Optimist, the police department is directly asking the public via Twitter where speed enforcement is required.

And the result has been brilliant, with cops at stop signs at busy intersections, at traffic signals in commercial areas enforcing the “no right turn” restriction, and even monitoring marked crosswalks to ensure that drivers are actually yielding to pedestrians.

The department has further adapted its unique communication-slash-enforcement approach, by also giving the public a “heads up” about potential enforcement areas, also at its @DPDTraffic Twitter account.

Whether you’re walking, biking or driving a motor vehicle in Delta, the results have been real, and measurable. Police say they have seen vehicular speeds slow almost to posted levels on Highway 17, as well as on streets in the city’s commercial areas.

Should this result in crash reduction — and should ICBC eventually provide more updated crash statistics on its public crash map — we may one day have a highly repeatable and portable tactic for all police departments to use across the province.

As Delta Police Staff Sergeant Ryan Hall states: “Although Delta police and other forces occasionally publicize enforcement efforts, we don’t think any other police force in B.C. has committed to giving the public a heads up on a regular basis.” 

The two-way communication, seemingly a simple protocol, is resulting in safer slower speeds on highway, commercial and residential streets.

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