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First Selectman Messages

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3/16/2022 - 03/16/2022

Dear Residents,

Need to Speed?

Nearly every day, I hear complaints about speeding on Canton roads. Cars and trucks pass stopped school busses, travel 41 MPH in 30 MPH zones and endanger themselves as well as pedestrians, including children. 

Will it take a fatality to slow us down? And for how long?

Let’s face it: Canton is experiencing an epidemic of speeding on several town roads – Route 44, Case Street, Cherry Brook and Maple Ave in particular. While Canton Police use many tactics to slow traffic to the posted speeds, we do not have enough police officers to stop every speeder on every road at every hour of the day. 

The fact is: traffic enforcement begins with ourselves.

It’s time to ask if every trip is so urgent that we need to speed. Do we believe that everyone else is speeding, so we have to speed as well? Is the car behind us pushing to go faster? Do we fear a road rage incident if we don’t speed up? 

Too often, we meet the speeder who harassed us for miles at the same red light. Their lead foot on their gas pedal brought them no further; they just endangered themselves and others along the way. 

If we are going to increase safety, we have to slow down. If we’re driving 10 feet away from the vehicle in front of us, we need to remember what it’s like to be that vehicle in front. We’ve all been there; it’s not fun. It’s not safe. If a child runs into the street, there’s going to be an accident – hopefully not involving the child. 

If we don’t slow down, we will continue to spend more money on speed enforcement, traffic calming features, such as speed tables and radar signs (we already have two), and police officers to patrol more roads. 

If we don’t slow down, we will continue to experience more tragedies. Since 2017, we have experienced 1637 motor vehicle accidents – one per day for the last five years. Nearly 10 percent of those crashes resulted in serious injury to occupants of vehicles involved. 

We should all ask ourselves: Is an extra 5 or 10 MPH worth someone’s life?

If we can slow down, we can avoid many of these costs – both monetary and emotional. It’s up to all of us to re-examine the need for speed on town roads. Surely we can get where we want to go without passing stopped school busses, crashing into vehicles and worse - people.

Stay well,
Bob Bessel 




Kevin Witkos
First Selectman
Phone: (860) 693-7847

Office Hours:
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Canton Town Hall
P.O. Box 168
4 Market Street
Collinsville, CT 06022