Deterrent or cash cow? Photo radar has long been a contentious issue in Edmonton, but now the city is making it easier for drivers to know where it will be located.
The City of Edmonton will now post a list online, showing where photo radar will be located in the week ahead. Before this, a map simply outlined the possible locations where photo radar could be set up at any given time.
“I think this is a way of making people more aware,” Coun. Dave Loken said. “The goal is to slow people down… I don’t want your money, I want you to slow down.
“We took a lot of flak for this. So for me, it’s kind of an experiment because I want to see if people are going to pay attention enough and they will in fact slow down when they’re told exactly where those locations are. If that’s the case, then that’s a great success to me.”
Loken said he’s been pushing for the past year for more transparency when it comes to photo radar locations in Edmonton. However, he would like to refine the list even further.
“I think we should be updating it constantly and people should know at any given time, in any given part of the city, where the location’s going to be. If that’s not the case, then that’s something we need to work on.”
Loken said he’d also like to see signs put up warning people of upcoming photo radar, although he said he likely won’t bring that up at council until after the October election.
“I think we need to bring out signs that actually say, ‘photo radar ahead’ so people know all the time.”
In 2015, the city issued 498,227 photo and laser radar tickets. In 2016, 522,795 tickets were issued. The majority of photo radar tickets handed out are for those going between 11 and 15 km/h over the posted speed limit.
The goal of the new practice is to slow people down, Loken said, adding photo radar isn’t about revenue but about traffic safety.
“If we’re getting less revenue because people are slowing down and our streets are safer, that’s a success story. The success story is not the revenue, it’s slowing people down and making the street safer.”
While he believes the list is a step in the right direction when it comes to traffic safety, Loken also offered these words for Edmonton drivers.
“If you’re going the speed limit all the time through the city, or close to it, then you shouldn’t have to worry about where any of these locations are,” he said with a laugh.