The province has announced that beginning next month, on December 1, the government will be taking the first steps to ban photo radar on ring roads in Calgary on Stoney Trail and in Edmonton on Anthony Henday Drive.
"At the same time, Alberta’s government will be engaging with municipalities and law enforcement over the next year on removing all “fishing hole” locations across the province. Albertans can be confident that going forward, photo radar will only be used to improve traffic safety," the province stated.
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors said that photo radar must only be used to improve traffic safety.
"...These changes will finally eliminate the cash cow that affects so many Albertans. With these changes, municipalities will no longer be able to issue thousands of speeding tickets simply to generate revenue.”
A 2019 cap for new photo radar equipment, programs or new photo radar locations will be extended until the one-year consultation with municipalities is complete on December 1, 2024. Since December 2019, municipalities and police services have not been able to install new photo radar equipment, upgrade existing photo radar devices, as well as add new photo radar locations.
Earlier this month, the City of Airdrie's 2024-2026 traffic plan enumerated the cap, which initially was extended till December 1 of this year stating that, 'As a result, the City of Airdrie cannot pursue the use of red-light cameras as part of Airdrie’s overall traffic management strategies towards safer roads and collision reduction at this time. If the freeze is lifted, Airdrie will research the feasibility of implementing this technology based on the new provincial guidelines.'
Instead, to address high-collision locations, Airdrie's Traffic Advisory Committee agreed to put temporary signage up at known high-risk locations.
"Moving forward, staff will continue to use this strategy to educate and bring awareness to high-collision intersections. Municipal Enforcement targets enforcement activities at the intersections identified as high-collision locations."
In its announcement, the province added that both Edmonton and Calgary will have the option to redeploy the photo radar units previously used on the ring roads to areas in their cities where they have a safety impact – in schools, playgrounds and construction zones.
Alberta’s first photo radar units were introduced in 1987 and now there are about 2,387 photo radar sites across the province. Calgary’s ring road has eight photo radar sites and Edmonton’s ring road has 22.
"These ring road photo radar sites can be relocated to sensitive areas. This means that Calgary can select eight high-risk areas and Edmonton can select 22 high-risk areas to redeploy these sites."
In 2022-2023, photo radar generated $171 million. Traffic fine revenue is split between the province and municipalities, with the province receiving 40 per cent and municipalities receiving 60 per cent.
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