Drivers in London, Ont., will likely see an increase in red light cameras and photo radar devices near schools.
Members of the civic works committee voted in favour Wednesday afternoon to double the number of red light cameras, to 20 from 10.
The number of photo radar systems will also increase, to seven from two, and be rotated around school zones in London.
“I really think this is a good program,” said Coun. Sam Trosow during the meeting.
According to the report presented by staff, using red light cameras and photo radar systems has helped make roadways safer.
“In London, the number of angle collisions at signalized intersections has decreased by (up to 11 per cent),” said the report. “Collisions involving injuries have reduced by approximately 40 per cent.”
The report adds that in the 13 school zones where an automated photo radar system has been rotated through, the average speed of drivers has dropped by seven kilometres per hour when the camera is in place and five km/h even after it has been moved to another area.
Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis has been vocal in supporting the traffic enforcement measures.
“We need to expand the program, cover off more intersections,” said Lewis.
Lewis said the original plan when installing the cameras would have been for the red light cameras to move around to different locations. However, he says since some of the currently used intersections still have at least 1,000 infractions a year, there is a need to expand the number of cameras in use.
“Honestly, if we had the capacity, I’d add another 20,” Lewis said.
The red light camera system’s total cost is just over $1 million per year, with anticipated revenue coming in at around $1.3 million yearly based on trends.
Lewis disagreed when asked if the automated system is simply a “cash grab” for the city.
“It’s not a cash grab. Follow the damn rules of the road, and you’re not going to get a ticket,” said Lewis. “You’re voluntarily contributing to the city coffers by disobeying the rules of the road … it’s your behavior that is causing you to get a ticket.”
Despite being in attendance at the meeting, because Lewis is not a member of the civic works committee he was unable to lend his support to a motion Trosow put forward that ultimately failed.
Trosow had sought to add a clause to the motion that would have directed staff to investigate and implement additional red light camera locations as feasible.
The motion did not pass as the vote was a 2-2 tie, with Trosow and Coun. Corrine Rahman for and Couns. Peter Cuddy and Paul Van Merrbergen against. Coun. Hadleigh McAlister was not present.
The original motion was then passed unanimously by all four members present. It will now go before full council on June 6 for passage.