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Police see spike in hit-and-run collisions in Bradford, Innisfil

South Simcoe police responded to 2,441 total calls for service in March, a roughly 13-per-cent drop from the same month last year
A South Simcoe Police Service cruiser parked outside the North Division building in Innisfil.

Police continue to deal with the ongoing issue of motor vehicle collisions in Bradford and Innisfil.

South Simcoe Police Service Deputy Chief Sheryl Sutton is set to provide the operational update for March during the police services board meeting at the South Division building in Bradford on Wednesday, April 24.

According to the report, March 2023 saw 140 motor vehicle collisions, while March 2024 saw that decrease to 117, with 60 in Bradford and 57 in Innisfil. Of those, 93 resulted in property damage, 13 involved a hit and run, and 12 resulted in injury.

While the number of collisions this March is also down from 125 in February, the number resulting in injury is up from nine and the number involving a hit-and-run almost tripled from just five last month.

There were no fatal collisions reported in March, and the total for 2024 so far remains at one.

During the previous meeting on March 19, Sutton explained that collisions aren’t unexpected on main thoroughfares, especially given growing populations in both municipalities.

“Everyone is in a rush to get somewhere,” she said.

During the meeting on Feb. 14, Todd Canning, vice-chair of the board shared his own experience driving in Innisfil, where he said he sees “some horrendous things,” especially along Line 6 where drivers’ attempts to overtake others are “insane.”

To help address the issue of driver behaviour Bradford is gearing up to install automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras, with Innisfil also working toward speed cameras and has already installed a red-light camera in Cookstown.

In the meantime, South Simcoe police have started using automated licence plate readers (ALPRs) and during the February meeting, the chief was pleased to report that he had received correspondence saying that as a result of those plate readers, the service had already issued enough tickets to fill all of the first appearance dates for the following month.

While locations along Holland Street West continued to be common spots for collisions in Bradford, Yonge Street at Line 12 saw three collisions and Holy Trinity Catholic High School saw two.

In Innisfil, Innisfil Beach Road and Industrial Park Road topped the list with four collisions, but 48 Queen St., 6400 Highway 400 S, County Road 89 at Sideroad 10, and Gilford Road at Yonge Street were all listed as having two collisions each.

Sutton previously explained that collisions are listed based on nearby intersections and addresses, and may not have occurred at those exact locations.

March Breakdown

The report showed 2,441 calls for service in March 2024, about a 13-per-cent decrease from the 2,803 calls in March 2023.

This March saw 54.83 per cent in Bradford where Patrol Zones E and D were busiest, and 45.17 per cent in Innisfil, where Patrol Zone B was busiest.

Patrol Zone E is in Bradford from Holland Street south, and Patrol Zone D is in Bradford from Holland Street north, while Patrol Zone B is in Innisfil east of Sideroad 10 between Line 5 and Line 9.

As is usual, only 31 of March’s calls for service were deemed the highest priority.

There were some areas in which calls increased in March 2024 compared to March 2023, including:

  • Assaults increased to 12 from seven
  • Break and enters increased to 11 from six
  • Thefts from vehicles increased to nine from five
  • Domestics increased to 75 from 50

Calls for shoplifting held steady at 15; however, there were other areas in which calls decreased in March 2024 compared to March 2023, including:

  • Landlord disputes decreased to 12 from 26
  • Fraud decreased to 30 from 38
  • Vehicles stolen decreased to 11 from 13
  • Provincial offence notices decreased to 588 from 880
  • Mental health calls decreased to 20 from 25

Crisis Calls

Crisis calls increased in March to 44, compared to 39 in February, with nine of March’s calls handled by the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST), while 35 were handled by front-line officers.

While 28 calls resulted in people being taken to hospital, 16 were diverted.

Of those who were taken to hospital, four went voluntarily.

The average wait times for officers offloading patients at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie increased slightly to 2.1 hours from two hours in February, with Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket seeing a larger increase to 1.8 hours from 1.4 hours in February.

Under certain circumstances, officers who encounter people in crisis may take them to hospital for assessment, but must remain with them until they are admitted.

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Michael Owen

About the Author: Michael Owen

Michael Owen has worked in news since 2009 and most recently joined Village Media in 2023 as a general assignment reporter for BradfordToday
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