Calgary photo radar vehicles get high-visibility, safe driving message

A Calgary Police Service photo radar vehicle sporting a new "drive safe" banner. All photo radar vehicles in Alberta must have similar signage effective Dec. 1, 2022. Calgary Police Service

Calgary drivers will have more heads-up on photo radar in December.

Effective Thursday, Calgary Police Service photo radar vehicles will have high-visibility banners on them that say “drive safe.”

“A key element to the success of any enforcement practice, including the use of photo radar technology, is public awareness and transparency,” CPS said on social media.

The banners are in response to changes to automated traffic enforcement put into provincial law last December.

This year, municipalities started submitting quarterly reports to the province on photo radar.

In April, photo radar was prohibited on residential streets with speed limits under 50 km/h, unless it was in school and playground zones or construction zones. A new definition of a zone with speed transitions was also put in place.

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In June, photo radar wasn’t allowed on construction sites if no workers were present. Photo radar sites also couldn’t be selected if there was public concern or conventional enforcement.

And coming up in December, all photo radar vehicles require a wrap that says “drive safe” in blue over a yellow background on all sides of the vehicle. All existing locations are to be reassessed and other tools like speed bumps or education were to be put in place before considering use of photo radar.

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A freeze on all new photo radar equipment was placed on municipalities in December 2019.

Thirty municipalities across the province have photo radar programs. In December 2019, the City of Edmonton unveiled neon yellow photo radar vehicles with the same “drive safe” message.

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The City of Calgary also uses cameras at intersections, and posts their locations online.

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