by Calli Stromner
Almost 1,200 Morinville voters turned out to cast their ballot in the Apr. 14 plebiscite to determine the fate of photo traffic enforcement, with just over 55 % of electors choosing to keep the controversial traffic enforcement tactic.
The unofficial results posted late Monday night saw 525 in favour of the bylaw to ban photo radar and red light cameras while 654 electors were against it. The bylaw was triggered by a petition submitted by Morinville resident Cliff Haryett on Nov. 15. That petition was deemed valid by Administration and was formally received by Council on Dec. 10. Council chose to put the bylaw out to plebiscite during their Jan. 28 meeting.
Cliff Haryett and Linda Lyons, bylaw petitioners and advocates against Morinville’s current photo enforcement program was grateful to the 900 people who signed the petition last October and to the voters who turned out this week. “The people have voted to retain photo radar – the people have spoken,” they said in a written statement. “The purpose of the petition was to get the people talking about the pros and cons of the program and get the program reviewed or revamped.” They added that it is now up to Council to take the time to review all of the concerns brought up about the program over the course of the last few months.
And a thorough review is precisely what Mayor Lisa Holmes suggests will happen. “The vote creates an opportunity to change the delivery of traffic enforcement or make improvements on the current program,” said Holmes. “Either way the focus is on increasing traffic and pedestrian safety.”
Voter turnout for Bylaw 1/2014 was tallied at 1,179 of an estimated 5,800 eligible voters, or 20.3%. That number is considerably higher than the 2012 by-election, an election that saw a total of 734 votes cast, or 13.68% of the then 5,362 eligible voters in Morinville.
It is anticipated results in Monday’s votes will be made official by the Town on Friday, Apr. 18.