Further to the photo radar vs. photo laser (lidar) matter, we would like to emphasize that the upcoming photo radar enforcement bylaw vote is VERY IMPORTANT and we encourage everyone to please vote.
It is recognized that the Petition was poorly worded, however, the bylaw had to reflect the exact wording of the Petition. It has not been a secret that the Petition did not describe the actual technology currently used in Morinville, and no one was trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. However, it is interesting that some of the most vocal advocates of this petition claim to be “knowledgeable” regarding the operations of the Morinville photo enforcement contractor, yet they clearly are not. In any event, we do acknowledge the intent of the Petition which was to be rid of Photo Speed Enforcement.
This matter is important because Morinville does not possess the resources (RCMP or Community Peace Officers) to supply an equal amount of speed enforcement, without impairing their ability to do their many other tasks, and this is a risk to traffic safety and/or community safety all around. An option is to hire more officers with a cost to taxpayers of approx. $300,000.00 per year to do traffic speed enforcement already being done by the contractor at NO COST TO THE TAX PAYER. Also please consider that there is a shortage of RCMP members nationwide and Morinville is no exception and Community Peace Officers are similarly hard to acquire.
The Petitioner stated in the St. Albert Gazette article dated December 18, 2013, that “Morinville should not hire any additional officers to cover the hours currently spent by photo radar contractors, even if police have to take time away from other duties to do traffic enforcement”.
And if this was the case, would the Petitioner like noxious weeds to take priority over traffic safety? What about the Dare Program for our children, or the school liaison officer at our schools, the animal control, unsightly premises or domestic violence complaints? How shall these tasks be prioritized?
“That’s their problem, not mine,” he said. “Let’s see these guys go out and do some work every once in awhile.” The statement itself is insulting and speaks volumes. Suffice to say that it shows absolute disrespect to our law enforcement men and women.
The Petitioner stated that “council should either raise taxes by five per cent to make up for lost revenue by photo enforcement, or cut spending”. We do not subscribe to the notion that – taxpayers should pay the bad acts of those individuals that choose to ignore the posted speed limits.
The following is an excerpt from the British Columbia Ministry of Justice for consideration.
“Reducing Speed Reduces the Effects of Impact-
Reducing the effects of vehicle impact is possible by maintaining a safe driving speed. By driving at a safe speed, you have more time to react and more distance for braking….
• A pedestrian hit at 30 km/hr has a 90% chance of SURVIVING.
• A pedestrian hit at 50 km/hr has an 80% chance of BEING KILLED.”
B.C. photo enforcement failed, because of politics, which should never be involved in Traffic safety. In the first year of photo speed enforcement, the fatalities decreased 25%. When it was cancelled, injuries from collisions increased 25% and fatalities 17%.
At the end of the day, the result of the votes WILL count, no matter which technology is currently being used. In the future, Morinville may wish the option to use Red Light Cameras which are “photo radar” technology. There are other traffic safety initiatives that the bylaw, if passed, would restrict.
A Vote of NO means that you do not support the bylaw and you wish that Morinville be allowed to use Photo Radar and Red Light Camera technology as a traffic safety enhancement.
A Vote of YES means that you support the petition/bylaw and have a dramatic increase in incidents of excessive speed within the community going unchallenged. That sounds harsh, but the reality is that the void left by the elimination of photo speed enforcement cannot be filled by the existing compliment of RCMP and Community Peace Officers and if it is, it will come at a significant increase to the tax base.