Revenue from Edmonton’s photo radar program was $3 million under budget this year because people aren’t speeding as much.
At Wednesday’s Edmonton city council meeting, councillors and the mayor called the decrease a “good news” story.
“I’m very happy to see automated enforcement revenues dropping,” Don Iveson said. “Unfortunately, it’s not because people have stopped speeding entirely, but it is because they’re speeding less.”
Revenue from the photo radar program goes into a reserve fund to support traffic safety programs. The projected 2017 balance of the reserve for is $8.9 million, which is $3 million lower than budgeted.
“Vision Zero is partly zero revenue from fines because people are complying and we have safer streets,” the mayor said.
“We always expected, over time, to put ourselves out of business on those enforcement fees. So I actually think it’s good news.”
If the trend continues, the reserve will fall into a projected $200,000 deficit by the end of 2018 because projects totalling $9.1 million have already been approved.
Gerry Shimko with the Office of Traffic Safety credits the decrease in speeders on the installation of driver feedback signs.
“We really ramped up the education part. The addition of over 150 driver feedback signs. We’ll continue to add more in the schools zones,” Shimko said.
In regard to the projected deficit, council heard on Wednesday that the city will focus on finding other funding for the traffic-safety projects, rather than increasing revenue.
“We’ve already come up with some opportunities to ensure the programs that council has approved will continue to be funded,” Shimko said.