KAGAWONG—So far this summer Billings Township officials are happy with the fact that many more people are parking their vehicles in the township parking lot a short distance from the Bridal Veil Falls area on Highway 540. However, the Manitoulin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is currently investigating the damage to one sign and the removal of another sign warning motorists of “no stopping/tow away zone” on Highway 540 in Kagawong. The OPP is reminding the public that theft and mischief of the signs is a criminal offence.
The “no stopping” signs have been established in areas where parking on the side of the highway would either impede or endanger traffic or pedestrians. Vehicles parked in these designated areas will receive a provincial offences notice and the vehicle could be towed.
“In the case of the one sign, there is only half of it left, so we assume something happened to it,” said OPP Provincial Constable Marie Ford. She pointed out both signs were “fairly new.”
“Absolutely, yes, (damaging these signs) is a criminal offence,” explained Constable Ford. “The point we are trying to get across is that these signs are in place with public safety in mind. As you come into Kagawong on the highway the road narrows down enough that if someone is not following the speed limits and a young or older person is crossing into traffic it could be catastrophic (an accident) which is exactly what we are trying to prevent.”
“With this being the summer season things are going to get really busy,” said Constable Ford. “There is a perfectly good parking lot the township established beside Dig and Doug’s Cedar Furniture. The main thing is we don’t want someone to get hurt, we want to prevent potential accidents in that area and that is the reason these signs are there for public safety.”
“So far this summer people are using every space available and not using the roadside to park,” said Billings Township councillor Bryan Barker. “There has been lots of vehicles in our parking lot (and other designated parking areas.”
“It’s nice to see people are using those parking areas,” said Councillor Barker. “We would like to encourage more people to park in the Park Centre parking lot as well. With the weather being so nice and the peak tourist season upon us we will see what happens. We are still working with the OPP and the MTO (Ministry of Transportation) on safety precautions in the area.”
The OPP reminds drivers to pay attention to these signs and find alternate parking locations. The OPP would like to ensure the safety of everyone.
Any person with information regarding the person(s) responsible for the theft or mischief incident should please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit information online to www.sudburycrimestoppers.com where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.