Letter: City of Edmonton Should Use Peace Officers Over Photo Radar

Reader writes that what worked in Strathcona County can work in the city, too.

Allow me to say that I truly enjoy your magazine, Edify, and the online Urban Affairs. While now a longtime resident of Sherwood Park, I still consider myself an Edmontonian.

I was reading the article on lower speed limits being difficult to enforce because municipalities can’t enforce photo radar below 50 kmh. I wonder if the councillor (Jo-Anne Wright) and her colleagues have considered dumping photo radar and instead hiring a few more peace officers to handle regular laser radar duties? Strathcona County did that a few years ago. In fact, Strathcona County does not use indiscriminate photo radar. Aside from the intersection cams, there is no photo radar in the county. The benefit is that it costs less or the same to have additional peace officers issue physical tickets. As well, the immediacy of a physical ticket tends to have a larger impact on the speeder in terms of correcting the undesired behaviour. Lastly, the insurance impact of a physical ticket has a correctional benefit as well – most people scoff at photo radar because it doesn’t impact their insurance rates.

To me, this is a win on many fronts. The immediacy of the behaviour modification, the more serious impact on the miscreant (love that word), and potentially the reduction of expense in managing the bylaw all favour exploring that as a serious option to consider.