LETTER: Photo radar is a common sense way to reduce speed

Speed limit sign on Maple Grove Road

(This letter was written in response to comments from Councillor Shad Qadri in his March 11 newsletter to residents.)

Photo radar is just another tool to deter speeding and make our roads safer. Speeding and aggressive driving is an ongoing problem in the Fairwinds community as it is across the city.

In my case vehicles exiting Huntmar go far too fast down Rosehill east between Huntmar and Maple Grove. There is a blind corner on this stretch and my neighbors routinely place signs and other props to remind drivers to slow down. This does have some impact however more needs to be done. The speed limit in the community should be lowered to 40 km or even 30 km in these areas. I know from experience living on the corner with the traffic circle that backing into my driveway is a hazard as drivers just do not slow down exiting Huntmar at the traffic circle.

The fact that the Minister (Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca) is not in favour of photo radar is plain stupidity and ignorance to the problem at hand.  Speeding and aggressive driving kills and maims pedestrians and other drivers alike. Statistics provide the evidence and if the Minister did his job he would see these facts pertinent to photo radar as a tool.

All tools like photo radar and stop signs amongst other traffic measures are just a plain common sense approach to address the problem.

Frank Boeres
Stittsville


 

(We welcome letters from our readers on any topic. You can contact us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca. Please include your full name for publication.)


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5 thoughts on “LETTER: Photo radar is a common sense way to reduce speed”

  1. Frank,

    I sympathize with your concerns around traffic safety and speeding on residential roadways, but I do not believe photo radar is an answer to your concerns. I lived in Edmonton, Alberta for 13 years. A city in which a photo radar program has existed for many years. Unfortunately, photo radar is treated as a cash cow and locations are selected along arterial or high volume collector roadways where there are plenty of vehicles to ticket and revenue to collect. It simply is not worth their while to deploy photo radar operators onto residential roadways. They would rather regularly deploy into areas on arterial roadways where speed limits lower than the design limits of the roadway (such as in 80 km / hr and 60 km / hr speed limit zones on major 4-6 lane divided, arterial roadways that should be free flowing as freeways). Ottawa already suffers from an ill designed arterial roadway network that does not allow for free flow of traffic. Adding photo radar onto arterial roadways is not going to help the situation. I can understand the needs in residential areas and school zones, but in my experience these areas are very rarely targeted in photo radar programs. It becomes simple economics that there are not enough vehicles per hour through this area to write enough tickets. This is exactly where the well deserved cash cow moniker of photo radar comes from. It is all about safety as they enact the law, but then all about the bottom line once the program is in place.

    1. Huntmar is a collector road and my point was that more needs to be done. Currently enforcement is weak and residents only option is to self monitor and send complaints to OPS which is done almost daily. My point was not to leverage photo radar necessarily on Huntmar, more so to use this tool across the city. Huntmar was an example and the volume of over 1200 a day and growing with all the devopments in progress is only going to exasperate the problem. The message is speeding kills and violators need to be punished through fines and higher insurance rates. We all pay for bad behaviour behind the wheel.

      1. Photo radar tickets have no impact on insurance rates. Tickets are to the registered owner of the vehicle and not the driver. There are no demerits associated with a photo radar ticket.

        Based upon experience in other cities photo radar is not going to cure or even necessarily make better the problems you are describing.

        I was on the board of my community association for several years and worked with residents and the board to address traffic concerns in the neighbourhood. The city would not deploy photo radar onto the collector roads within the community, but day after day would have photo radar sitting a few metres inside a 60 km/hr zone on the arterial ring road (4 lane divided highway constructed for 100 km/hr) just outside the neighbourhood. They did nothing to enhance safety in a zone with an artificially low speed limit on a wide open stretch of divided highway, but they did write a lot of tickets and collect a lot of revenue there. Meanwhile residents in the neighbourhood continued to complain about the same weak enforcement on the neighbourhood streets.

        Experience in other jurisdictions shows that photo radar does not cure these problems or even necessarily make them better. My caution based upon experience in Edmonton is that we be careful what we wish for here. It is easy to bring in a photo radar program espousing the safer streets it will deliver and then it morphs into a revenue generating machine where decisions are made based upon revenue generation instead of community safety.

  2. Love the comment “Speeding and aggressive driving is a on going problem” and saying that cars go “too fast.” But the reality is, speeding and aggressive driving is only a problem if it actually leads to crashes. Where is the crash data to show that crashes are above average in these areas?
    The more robust studies on photo enforcement show little, no, and sometimes negative improvement on safety when cameras are installed and used.
    Here’s an idea. If there really is a legit traffic safety problem, let’s rely on the profession that knows traffic safety the best: Traffic engineers to perform legitimate scientific studies and make their recommendations.

  3. Why not take the middleman out of this equation and put a transponder in each and every car. If your car is speeding at anytime anywhere, your cars announces your ticket price to you and sends you an email with the ticket.

    This way the Government will collect more revenues off the backs of the over taxed masses with lower expenses to do so.

    I do sympathize with you and your cause but I am sure if photo radar is widely installed, each and every one of us could/would get a ticket on a daily basis for going slightly over the limit. What will be the tolerance, 5KPH, 10KPH or simply 0kph.

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