City launches new campaign to get photo radar
Last updated Mar 16 2006 08:55 AM AST
CBC News
Charlottetown city council is enlisting help in a new attempt to bring photo radar to city streets.

Council decided earlier this week to ask the P.E.I. Federation of Municipalities to help the city make its case for photo radar. The city believes such a system would make city streets safer but has to ask the province for permission to set it up.

Two years ago, the province turned down a similar request by the city, but council believes a little bit of help could go a long way. It hopes that the federation, a provincial-municipal association that advocates on behalf of its members, can convince the province of the merits of the system.

Cecil Villard, chair of the city's police committee, said the city wants to do something about motorists who ignore the rules of the road.

"It's a major concern," he said. "So we need to begin to deal with the issue, and this is one of the means available for us to do it."

City police say there is no question that the presence of cameras would make city streets safer.

Deputy police Chief Richard Collins said police tested one of the $50,000 portable units two years ago and the system worked. He said having one of the portable photo radar units in place would allow police to be more efficient in nabbing speeding motorists.

"The days of hiring more and more people without using technology first are over. And that's all we want to do here, keep our roads safe and do it in the best way possible," Collins said.

No money, however, has been set aside in this year's city council budget for a photo radar system.

The portable units take pictures of speeding motorists and the photos record the license plates. The city then mails out tickets.