The Crawford family cat was lucky.
He dodged a few close calls with cars over the years. On the morning of July 21 his luck ran out.
He was struck and killed by a speeding driver on Sunriver Way, in front of Colin Crawford’s house.
Through the grief, Crawford, who’s been a resident with his family in Sunriver for six years, now asks: what if a child was the one on the road instead of the cat?
“If they were going 40, they wouldn’t have hit my cat,” Crawford said, who lives along the middle of the hill on Sunriver Way, where most drivers are known to pick up speed.
Even though the posted speed limit is 40 km/h, he said a large part of the reason is that most drivers, visitors or local, can’t see the traffic sign – it is hidden in the bushes.
“People don’t pay much attention to it, not even local residents,” Crawford said, adding that in certain times of the day, the whole street turns into a bit of a traffic spectacle.
“All you have to do is sit one morning or one afternoon and watch people. It’s the kind of traffic too. You get big dump trucks coming up here, buses. They have to do something better,” he said.
Some residents have resorted to creating their own signage to help curb drivers from speeding, particularly in areas where kids play.
Addressing the signage issue is a concern for the RCMP too, said Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur, who sent a letter to the District of Sooke on the need for more signage.
The RCMP receives many complaints of the area, and police patrol it on a regular basis looking for speeders.
“There needs to be more enforcement and education about the signs,” McArthur said.
Speeding in 40 km/h residential zones can earn a fine of $380 or more, including impoundment of the vehicle.
Still, it shouldn’t always come down to big-dollar fines for a little reminder.
Crawford and other Sunriver resident suggested implementing speed bumps to reduce speeders, though it may not stop everyone. And it may even cause problems for emergency vehicles getting through, said acting mayor Ebony Logins.
“[Speed bumps] makes it really challenging for emergency services. The second challenge would be that every resident on that street would have to sign a petition to say that’s what they want,” Logins said.
Logins said the best option is to add electronic speeding signs, which at least shows drivers that they may be a bit over the limit right away.
“It’s not 100 per cent effective, but it does let drivers know who may be unconsciously speeding,” she said, adding that speeding is not isolated to just Sunriver, but the general Sooke area.
Crawford isn’t convinced just a sign will do the trick though, as there are other issues at play with the road.
He said there is a “funneling effect” that happens right at the top of the hill, as cars are parked on both sides, creating blind one-lane traffic as cars descend the hill.
“If there’s another car coming down, there isn’t any space for anyone to go and that creates a problem,” he said.
He hopes the district will follow through with more signage and even consider adding speed bumps. Following the death of his cat though, Crawford has considered moving out of Sooke.
“When we moved in, we never thought that road was going to be this busy.”