The NDP government is taking steps to end photo radar being used as a revenue-generating tool.
Transportation Minister Brian Mason says that photo radar operations "must contribute to significant traffic safety outcomes, like reducing collisions and saving lives and not just generating revenue"
His department released the results of a study on Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) in the province on Thursday, and according to the report, Alberta has the greatest “intensity” of ATE use; despite that, collision rates have decreased at similar levels to other jurisdictions.
The report shows a small contribution to traffic safety including a 1.4 per cent overall reduction in collisions and 5.3 per cent reduction in serious or fatal crashes.
It also suggests more data is required from municipalities to justify the use of photo radar and how it contributes to safety.
Over the next year, the government will work with cities and towns to implement guideline changes which include enhancing transparency, increasing oversight and making sure photo radar can be used only to improve road safety.
Guideline changes on June 1 include:
* Improve accountability by clarifying roles and responsibilities for photo radar programs.
* Require municipal Traffic Safety Plans to use collision data to ensure photo radar programs are directly tied to safety. The plans will be audited by the provincial government to ensure compliance.
* Require police services and/or municipalities to post and update photo radar locations and their rationale on municipal/police websites every month (links will be provided on Alberta.ca/photoradar).
* Prohibit the use of photo radar in transition zones (i.e. adjacent to speed limit signs where speed limits change).
* Prohibit the use of photo radar on high-speed multi-lane roadways, unless there is a documented traffic safety issue.
* Require annual reporting and evaluation of how photo radar programs are achieving traffic safety outcomes.