Leduc scraps photo radar city-wide

· The Pulse
By Jackson Spring
in the Regional Roundup
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Leduc city council has voted to get rid of automated traffic enforcement, including speed cameras and red light cameras, in favour of manned traffic stops.

One reason cited for the decision is a staffing increase to the Municipal Traffic Unit (MTU). But councillors also said during deliberations that they had received negative feedback from residents.

"We've heard the voice of this community with respect to photo radar and we're adapting our safety efforts resulting in a greater presence of manned enforcement," Mayor Bob Young said in a news release.

Young added that "vulnerable areas" like school zones will get the same amount of enforcement, but through MTU personnel as opposed to cameras.

A report from Leduc's administration says the city will lose $201,480 in budgeted revenues from photo radar tickets in 2021.

The province has been going after automated enforcement programs since 2019, when it issued a new set of restrictions that prohibited municipalities from installing new equipment or adding new enforcement locations.

Leduc installed speed cameras at three intersections in 2019, capturing  over 500 violations in a week. (City of Edmonton)

Leduc installed speed cameras at three intersections in 2019, capturing  over 500 violations in a week. (City of Edmonton)

In early 2019, then Transportation Minister Brian Mason said photo radar was being used to supplement city budgets rather than improve safety. Ric McIver, the current minister, announced a two-year study on its use that fall. 

The provincial government more recently made changes to the share of photo radar revenues collected by municipalities. The City of Edmonton has reported it will lose $20 million over the next two years as a result of these changes.

Beaumont city council is set to review its photo radar program in May with the release of the city's annual protective services report. While Mayor John Stewart did not indicate whether council would consider downsizing the program, he told Taproot "the use of photo radar is always a contentious issue, and does generate community discussion."