Volume 12 Week 5

Saturday, Jan. 19


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




Approving photo radar the right move for all the right reasons

By Fred Sherwin
rléans Online

In yet another example of the age old adage, “why make a decision today when you can put it off until tomorrow”, city council has decided to refer a motion asking for the province’s permission to use photo radar for further study, consultation and debate.

Apparently quite a few councillors are worried that asking for permission to use photo radar may upset their constituents who are more worried that it might be used as a cash grab than the safety of residents living on streets plagued by speeders.

If you are concerned about public safety and protecting the quality of life of taxpayers who have the same right as anybody else to live in a safe environment, photo radar is a no-brainer. At the same time, if you want to allay fears that they could be utilized to pad the city’s coffers you can adopt guidelines as to when the photo radar would kick in, such as 10 km/h over the posted speed limit, and post signs warning motorists the street is being monitored.

And just because you have a photo radar housing on a street doesn’t mean it has to be equipped with a photo radar. If used properly, photo radar should act as a deterrent. As such, you only need to have the perception a street is being monitored to get drivers to slow down.

You could easily erect multiple photo radar housings on multiple streets and rotate the actual photo radar device between them. This would prevent them from being used as a cash grab while maximizing their potential as a deterrent.

Over the last few years it has become abundantly obvious the city does not have the resources to properly enforce speed limits. I live just off Princess Louise Drive which has a posted speed limit of 40 km/h, and I can assure you that the “unofficial” speed limit is closer to 60 km/h, yet I have never scene a speed trap, or even a car pulled over for speeding in 10 years. The same is true for 90 per cent of the streets in Ottawa.

Even when the police do have the resources to enforce the speed limit, it is only temporary and the speeders return as soon they leave.

The only way to deter speeding on residential streets and protect the safety and quality of the people living on those streets is to implement the threat of a consequence which photo radar provides – and the sooner the better.

(Updated 9:30 a.m., March 23)


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