Should London use photo radar in school zones?

SGI statistics show that the number of speeding violations in photo radar zones decreased in February compared to January. File / Global News

London is being asked to participate in a discussion over whether photo radar should be added in school zones.

The issue will go before the civic works committee Tuesday afternoon.

London has already reduced speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 km/h across the city but to date hasn’t discussed photo radar for school zones. City staff say to date 70 per cent of school zones in London have been updated, the remainder will be completed before the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

READ MORE: Red light cameras are snapping photos, issuing tickets to London drivers

The city also recently introduced red light cameras across the city.

The request from the province comes months after the Safer School Zones Act (Bill 65) received royal assent. The bill allows municipalities to set their own default speed limit and it allows for the reintroduction of automated speed enforcement, also known as photo radar, in school and community safety zones.

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The Ministry of Transportation is currently preparing the necessary regulations to allow for the implementation of Bill 65.

READ MORE: City committee supports speed reduction in London school zone

City staff are recommending London participate in the photo radar discussion and investigate a request for proposal. Staff say investigating an RFP wouldn’t bind London to photo radar at the end of the process.

London also recently endorsed the ‘Vision Zero‘ policy which says no loss of life is acceptable and traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable.

One issue raised by a working group investigating photo radar is the potential to overwhelm the provincial offences court with tickets.

READ MORE: Search continues for three suspects wanted in London’s latest shooting

The working group says one potential solution would be to municipal administrative staff handle photo radar infractions. The group said this would give municipalities the ability to adjust their resources depending on their needs.

Photo radar is currently used to police speeds in Ottawa, where school zones also have a speed limit of 40 km/h.

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