WINNIPEG – It’s becoming clear just how much better the city’s photo radar trucks have become at catching speeders.
Figures obtained by Global News Friday show the mobile units are on track to hand out twice as many tickets as they did just two years ago, thanks to newer technology introduced last year.
So far this year until July 15th mobile photo radar units have dished out 43,605 speeding tickets. That’s nearly on par with the total in 2011 and 2012, and on pace to easily top last year’s total of 74,897.
New laser technology was introduced in the ten mobile photo radar units in May 2013, making it easier to catch speeders in any direction.
“We fully expected those numbers to go up for a number of reasons, the technology is better, the photographs with the old photo radar wasn’t digital so some of the pictures would error out,” said Winnipeg Police Staff Sgt. Rob Riffel. “This new system with the digital images is a way sharper system, we can deploy in more areas so people don’t get used to us being in the same areas,” he said.
But critics say the new boom in photo radar ticket fines is new evidence that the system is more cash grab than road safety initiative.
“They’ve essentially issued a year’s worth of tickets so far this year alone,” said Chris Sweryda with Wise Up Winnipeg. “It has been a cash grab right from the start, it has never had anything to do with safety,” said Sweryda.
“You can call it what you want. To be perfectly honest with you, is there a monetary portion to this? Absolutely there is, just like there is for traditional enforcement when you give out a ticket there’s a fine for it,” said Riffel.
At the rate mobile photo radar speeding tickets are being handed out 2014 could top off at over 80,000.