Lacombe to keep photo radar plan

Lead-footed Lacombe drivers may want to reconsider their speeding ways.

Lead-footed Lacombe drivers may want to reconsider their speeding ways.

City council opted not to reverse a decision last year to introduce photo radar to the community beginning in April.

Photo radar was back before council on Monday after Coun. Reuben Konnik put forward a notice of motion to reconsider the earlier approval.

Konnik said he’d heard from people in recent weeks who were not supportive of photo radar.

“As an elected representative people came to me and they weren’t happy,” he said, saying it was worth taking another look at the issue.

He also questioned the need for photo radar now that council has hired a full-time community peace officer focused on traffic enforcement after the success of a four-month pilot project last year.

Coun. Peter Bouwsema said three-quarters of the people he spoke to were against photo radar.

Some said it does nothing to address other bad driving behaviour. Others were concerned that since a private company will be contracted to run photo radar, company profits will drive the number of tickets handed out.

Other councillors were told by residents photo radar was a good idea and something had to be done to slow speeders down.

Council voted 3-3 in favour of the motion to reconsider the approval. Councillors Grant Creasey, Konnik and Bouwsema voted in favour. As a notice of motion, it required support from five councillors.

To provide an early opportunity to assess photo radar, council asked administration to give the photo radar only a one-year contract, which will then be reviewed.

Coun. Grant Creasey believes the community’s reaction will be mixed.

“There will be some people who want it no matter what and some who don’t want it for any reason whatsoever.”

Creasey said he doesn’t support bringing it in at this time, particular now that the new traffic enforcement officer has been hired permanently and has proven “overwhelmingly successful”.

“I just don’t think that photo radar at this particular time is going to enhance overall safety in our community.”

A survey of residents last year didn’t put speeding at the top of traffic concerns. There were more concerns about running stops signs, unsafe loads and other offences, he said.

Also, when a speeder is caught by an officer, there is some education that comes along with that interaction

“A photo radar or speed trap is basically viewed pretty much as a revenue generator and not necessarily an education tool.”

Coun. Outi Kite was not at Monday’s meeting.

In other council business:

lA Transportation Master Plan was adopted, which will provide the city with specific thresholds of when roads should be widened and signals installed at intersections. It also looks ahead to identify future traffic needs.

lThe city also passed a nuisance bylaw which boosts fines to keep it in line with other municipalities and to create more of a deterrent. The most common complaints involve roaming cats and noise. Fines for permitting a nuisance will double to $100 for a first offence, and to $200 on second offence. Third or more offences will lead to a $500 fine, up from $200.

Fines for allowing cats to run at large or to damage property will go to $75 on a first offence, up from $50. Second and third offences go up to $100 and $200 from $75 and $100.

lCouncil approved an $82,569 contract with Vancouver-based LEES and Associates Landscape Architects and Planners to complete a master design plan for the Fairview East Cemetery expansion.

lA new Business Licence Bylaw was approved that reduces the number of business classifications from 42 to seven. The fee structure is also simplified.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP investigate possible drowning at Pigeon Lake: Man and woman found dead on shore

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

Red Deer Region Highland Dancing Association to participate in national dance-a-thon

Central Albertan dancers have missed performing during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the… Continue reading

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

Still no mandatory masks in Red Deer

While a growing number of Alberta communities have made masks mandatory, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

69 salmonella cases in B.C. linked to red onions, province’s CDC says

VANCOUVER — The BC Centre for Disease Control is warning people in… Continue reading

Puncher’s chance: Fighting is up during unique NHL playoffs

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ season was hanging by a thread from one… Continue reading

Quebec festivals organizers look to innovate as restrictions loosened

Montreal has been having its quietest summer in recent memory, as COVID-19… Continue reading

COVID-19 outbreaks over in federal prisons, staff preparing for ‘new normal’

COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada’s federal prisons have been declared over, and staff… Continue reading

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

OTTAWA — The federal government will match all individual donations from Canadians… Continue reading

Protests in Beirut amid public fury over massive blast

BEIRUT — Police fired tear gas and clashed with demonstrators in Lebanon’s… Continue reading

Most Read