Province nixes cam for Brandon corner

One of the busiest intersections in Brandon will not be getting a red light camera, after the province nixed a proposal by police who wanted to make it safer.

Nearly a year ago, Brandon police sent a proposal to the province asking to set up a photo radar camera at the corner of Victoria Avenue and 18th Street, which doubles as the intersection of Highways 1A and 10.

The idea was to run the camera as a one-year pilot project, but the city recently received a letter from the Department of Transportation and Government Services stating that the proposal had provided insufficient data to support the project.

Sgt. Marc Alain, a spokesman for Brandon police, said his department was disappointed with the decision.

"Anytime you have a chance to use technology to make the streets safer and you don't get the opportunity to do that, yeah, it's disappointing," he said.

Alain said that corner -- which has a school, a playground, a church and an office building -- is one of the busiest in the city in terms of traffic volume and collisions.


Rick Chrest, Brandon's deputy mayor, said the proposal did include collision statistics for 2003, which showed 28 collisions resulting in nine injuries at that corner.

It did not include evidence of speeding or red-light running, though, and that is what ultimately led to it being nixed.

"It wasn't that the data showed there was no safety problem, there was simply a lack of data, and we didn't have enough information to make a recommendation on," said Dianne deKock, a senior legislative analyst with the department.

DeKock said the department is very open to future proposals from Brandon and other municipalities, but would definitely be looking for speeding and red-light running stats in future proposals.

Chrest said the city is disappointed, but doesn't feel slighted.

"When you're dealing with government projects, sometimes you have to revisit things, and we're accustomed to that," he said.

The city had not included any revenue from the proposed camera in its budget, he said, noting the motivation was more about safety and deterrence than creating a cash flow.

Winnipeg's 30 cameras, which are rotated throughout 48 intersections, remain the only ones in Manitoba.