May 11, 2017

Wildrose calls on NDP to produce report on photo radar detailing ‘cash grabs’ across the province

Today, Wildrose used recent frustrations with photo radar, including the call by Edmonton’s Chief of Police to increase the speed limit on the Anthony Henday, to call on the NDP government 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.

The report, which is called for in the Wildrose member passed policy book, should be released no later than September 15 of this year 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.”

The current guidelines issued by the province say the use of photo radar should be limited to locations that are high-risk, high-frequency, high-collision and have high-pedestrian volumes.

Currently, only four out of ten provinces have photo radar programs in place, with Alberta as 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 it’s clear for a growing majority of Albertans that 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.”

The call for a study is also supported by stakeholder organizations that wish to see changes to Alberta’s current photo radar system.

“We fully support the request for a report on our current photo radar system. It is important that the public has access to the information about these programs; for too long we have seen little to no evidence that demonstrates fairness and consistency in the use of automated traffic enforcement technology across Alberta.”

– Fair Alberta Roads

Audio of the news conference is available here.