A report going to city council says Guelph doesn’t need red-light cameras, but other efforts can be implemented to reduce the number of traffic violations.
Since May 2018, staff have been studying the idea of having the automated cameras at intersections.
The devices are intended to decrease the number of vehicles running red lights and causing right-angle or t-bone crashes.
Even though their research shows the devices can reduce right-angle collisions by 25 per cent, city staff said the cameras can increase the number of rear-end collisions by an estimated 15 per cent.
The report said the cameras could reduce the number of right-angle crashes annually by 29 from 115 to 86 collisions, reducing the total number of crashes in the city by only 1.5 per cent.
Cost is another issue as the city would need to spend $218,000 annually for the operation of four cameras and an additional $60,000 in the first year for installation, according to staff.
Staff also said Guelph residents rarely complain about drivers running red lights, but are rather more concerned about infractions like illegal parking, and speeding in residential areas and school zones.
Instead of red-light cameras, staff is recommending council approve a community road safety program with Guelph police that would focus on other efforts.
Staff’s ideas include increasing the frequency of painting the lines at intersections, adding signs that warn drivers of an intersection ahead and decommissioning unwarranted traffic signals.
The report going to councillors also highlighted efforts already underway, such as installing pedestrian countdown signals at intersections and installing green pavement markings to protect cyclists.
Councillors will discuss the matter during a meeting of the Committee of the Whole on Jan. 14.
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