The Government of Alberta is taking steps to end the use of photo radar as a revenue-generating tool.
On Thursday (Feb.21), the government announced changes to the provincial photo radar guidelines, based on an independent third-party review of operations in Alberta.
According to the review, photo radar was only directly responsible for a 1.4 per cent reduction in traffic collision rates and a 5.3 per cent reduction in the proportion of fatal collisions over a 10-year period.
“Our goal is to eliminate photo radar as a tool for revenue generation. Photo radar operations must contribute to significant traffic safety outcomes, like reducing collisions and saving lives," said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation, in a release. "We are updating the provincial photo radar guidelines to provide the direction and clarity that municipalities and police agencies need in order to focus on safety.”
Over the next year, the government plans to work with municipalities to implement the changes, which include banning photo radar in transition zones, as well as on high-speed multi-lane roadways, unless there is a documented traffic safety issue.
There are currently 27 municipalities in Alberta using photo radar programs, including Strathcona County, where seven new traffic cameras will be installed at two intersections later this year.
Conventional traffic enforcement, such as police patrolling or scanning traffic with radar, is still allowed in locations where automated enforcement is prohibited.
Radar is also still allowed in school zones, playground zones and construction zones.