Fredericton man wants photo radar in New Brunswick after trip to Saskatchewan
A Fredericton man says the province of New Brunswick should be considering adopting photo radar to deter drivers from speeding.
Boris Allard went to visit relatives in Saskatchewan in September and says he noticed a difference in driving behaviours there compared to how people act on the roads in New Brunswick. In fact, Allard says he noticed a “big discrepancy.”
He says people in Saskatchewan were not as likely to speed.
“I learned that in Saskatchewan, they had a tremendous problem with accidents and deaths on [the] roadway so they went with a multifaceted approach on traffic safety and traffic-calming measures,” Allard said, adding that included the use of photo radar.
“The first item that I noticed – driving through a construction site – is that they warn you that the fines are triple as opposed to New Brunswick, where the fines are double,” Allard said.
He says he also saw signs in construction zones that clocked how fast drivers were going in order to immediately show drivers how fast they were going near construction zone speed limit signs.
“They do have a sign indicating photo radar. Whether it’s active at each construction site or not, I have no idea,” Allard said.
He says the “mood of all the drivers” through those areas saw drivers going the speed limit.
Allard says he was made aware of a close call on a Fredericton construction site and says he believes that to be fairly common.
“Any measure that could help improve safety for construction workers or the public for that matter – all the better,” he said.
“In New Brunswick, I believe we should look at the Saskatchewan model, see how it’s been working with them, see what’s occurred there and see if there are pieces we can use in our province,” Allard said.
He says it all comes down to driver and public safety and thinks the Government of New Brunswick should take a close look at what other provinces are doing and see if any of the things being done elsewhere can be adopted in New Brunswick.
“One can imagine that for every fatality there’s probably tens, hundreds of incidents where people are injured. All these people are New Brunswickers or tourists and there’s a cost to that in our public health care system, so that should be a factor of considering too,” Allard said.
Const. Hans Ouellette, RCMP J Division’s acting media relations officer, says that when it comes to photo radar, the decision to implement it comes from the province and municipalities. He says the RCMP’s role is to enforce the rules of the road and that speeding has contributed to several fatalities over the past three years.
Ouellette tells Global News that so far in 2016, there have been 46 fatal collisions within New Brunswick RCMP jurisdiction and 10 of those involved excessive speed. He says in 2015, there were 11 speed-related fatalities out of 58 crash-related deaths in total, and that of 48 fatalities in 2014, speed played a role in nine.
“When someone is speeding significantly, it reduces their ability to maintain control of the vehicle, and if you add impairment and not wearing a seatbelt, your risk increases even more,” Ouellette said.
In an email to Global News, a spokesperson from the Department of Justice and Public Safety said the province is looking into tools such as red light cameras and photo radar but added that “in order to accommodate the legal use of such tools, amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act would be required.”
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