Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit January 23, 2004 - 1:56 pm

Public works director asks residents to police drivers

Newcomer Mark Hall waiting for complaints, compliments at 975-1877



Got a problem with municipal vehicle drivers?

Mark Hall says to call him.

As the City of Iqaluit’s new director of public works, Hall said he’s been given a mandate to improve public safety, including the conduct of city drivers.

In efforts to clean up the department’s track record, Hall wants the public to police his drivers and phone him directly with any complaints.

However, Hall said residents should also call him with compliments. He suggested that boosting the workers’ morale would translate into safer streets and better services.

“I think this is a significant and obviously serious issue,” Hall said, “not just to the city, but to residents as a whole.”

Upon arriving earlier this month from his last job as Senior Administrative Officer of Hall Beach, Hall said he already knew of Iqaluit’s bad reputation for public safety. City drivers have been under fire for the past few years, because of three fatal accidents where pedestrians were run over by city vehicles.

But Hall said his focus wouldn’t be on what drivers did wrong in the past, but making sure it doesn’t happen in the future.

“I’m not working the past,” he said. “I’m working in the current and future environment.”

Besides having the public police drivers, Hall said he’s aiming to improve public safety by beefing up on vehicle inspections and driver monitoring. Echoing many councillors earlier promises to improve road safety, he said launching a public education campaign would also be a priority.

Hall cautioned against focussing too much on city drivers and not enough on the physical short-fallings of the road system. Hall said the city needed to improve road conditions with increased sand and gravel distribution.

Road signage would also be improved, Hall said.

Hall added that council will also need to consider adapting the city’s street design to accomodate increasing car and truck traffic, and how they mix with snowomobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and pedestrians.

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