Photo radar to arrive in Edson
Town council voted last Tuesday to begin negotiations with Global Traffic Group Ltd. to have them bring their photo laser enforcement to town under the direction of Edson's RCMP detachment.
Monday May 01, 2006
"This has been brought up several times before and we turned it down," Coun. Carlo Klemm said,
voicing past concerns about the enforcement turning into a cash cow.
"We have received assurances that this is not just a money
maker," Klemm said.
Staff Sgt. Ian Lande agreed with
council's decision to bring the new form of enforcement to town.
He said the system should work well with the RCMP's traffic initiatives and it will help make town streets safer.
"(Global Traffic Group) will seek
approval as to the locations. That is simply so they don't conflict with the plans we have," Lande said.
He added that regardless of the
company's presence, his officers will
continue enforcing traffic laws.
The company will be required to
announce the general locations where the cameras will be operating so drivers will be aware of their presence.
"Hopefully it will slow things down around town," Lande said.
The plan will be to have photo
enforcement patrolling for speeders in
several key areas in town.
School and playground zones will take precedence along with 2nd and 4th Ave. where speeding semi-trailer units have been a problem.
Coun. Louise Connolly said during last Tuesday's meeting that while she would prefer to see a police presence to slow down speeders, this may be the safest option for all those involved.
"I don't want anyone to have to step out in front of large trucks to stop them for speeding," she said.
She added there was little room on 2nd and 4th Ave. for large vehicles to be pulled over, so a photo ticket was the best option for the town.
A representative from Global Traffic Group, who did not wish to be named, said tickets mailed out by his
company will be under the Traffic Safety Act and are the same as a ticket issued by any police
"We also attach a
letter and a picture and all the information about the ticket," he said.
Fines from the photo tickets will be the same as those issued bythe RCMP but the driver will not receive demerits on their
Global Traffic Group's revenue is based on tickets issued, there is no flat rate for their services.
They receive a portion of the fines issued, which, according to the company, means the program acts on market principles.
"If violations go down in the area then the program will have to be scaled back," the representative said, it will not be fiscally feasible to operate at full capacity when
ticket revenue can't support it.
Cameras operated by the company are not automated as in other programs.
They require an operator, who will
generally be former police officers, to
identify a suspected speeding vehicle and obtain a laser speed reading before a photo can be taken.
Drivers can expect to see cameras
operated from vehicles or on a tripod with the operator in full uniform.
Global Traffic Group will pay all
expenses associated with the new form of enforcement.
Residents will be informed three months in advance of their arrival with warning
tickets being issued after two months.