Speed on Green delayed

Fines coming Nov. 1

Red Deer drivers are getting about a two-and-a-half month reprieve from Speed on Green fines.

On Monday city council voted to extend the warning ticket period for speeding through green lights at intersections.

Fines will now commence Nov. 1 instead of Aug. 11.

A public campaign on Speed on Green began April 10. The warning ticket period began July 1 and was set to end Aug. 10. Now the city will provide more public education on the campaign and an additional warning ticket period.

On Monday council debated a notice of motion that came forward from Coun. Tanya Handley to delay the fines mailed out to drivers caught on intersection cameras speeding through green lights pending a provincial review.

In May, the government announced it was reviewing the use of photo radar across the province, as well as examining policies, site selection, and the revenue generated in each municipality.

The review was expected to be done this fall, but now won’t be complete until sometime next year.

Handley’s motion was defeated 7-2. Instead council passed another option that will delay fines until November.

Handley said the second option was better than nothing and will give people more opportunity to know that fines are coming.

“After hearing the province was reviewing it I thought it would be prudent for us to pause and wait,” Handley said.

“I think the focus should be safety.”

Council adopted the Speed on Green initiative during budget deliberations in January as a way to increase safety at high risk intersections.

She said some people see photo radar as a cash grab. Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason has even called it a cash cow.

“He said he was hoping to do this provincial review to make sure that’s not how municipalities were using their photo enforcement.”

The second option also involves the city undertaking a review of its traffic camera and photo radar policy. The city hasn’t updated its photo radar policies since 2010.

At any given time, 10 traffic cameras are rotated around Red Deer intersections every two weeks. The intersections that could be equipped with these photo radar cameras are made known through signage, and the locations for each two-week period are posted on the City of Red Deer website.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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