by Morinville News Staff
The Wildrose are hoping to make photo radar an election issue in this fall’s municipal elections.
Using recent frustrations with photo radar, including the call by Edmonton’s Chief of Police to increase the speed limit on the Anthony Henday, the Wildrose called on the NDP government Thursday to produce a report on the use of photo radar for speeding by municipalities across the province to determine where it is being used fairly.
Wildrose are asking for the report to be released no later than Sept. 15 so that voters are informed before fall municipal elections.
Some municipalities across Alberta have recently made changes to the administration of their photo radar programs to end ‘honey pot’ situations where safety is not the priority, or as was the case with Drayton Valley, have abolished their photo radar programs altogether.
“All Albertans support improving safety on our roadways, but that doesn’t mean we should continue to have a system in Alberta where responsible drivers are getting unfairly trapped for some easy revenue,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “There is clearly a growing movement of Albertans who want to stop the cash grabs and instead focus on all we can do to improve safety on Alberta’s roadways. The NDP government has the responsibility to study this and release a report.”
Current provincial guidelines say the use of photo radar should be limited to high-risk, high-frequency, high-collision locations that have high-pedestrian volumes.
Currently, only four out of ten provinces have photo radar programs in place. Alberta is the only province to allow uninhibited use of photo radar in every municipality and the only province that allows mobile speed cameras outside of construction and school zones.
Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Angela Pitt said a growing majority of Albertans believe the photo radar system has been tilted further away from its purpose to improve safety.
“Photo radar should never be used or seen as a sneaky revenue generating tool. Period,” Pitt said. “We can improve enforcement and safety on our roadways while at the same ending practices that entrap drivers in safe situations.”