This Wednesday, May 4, the Transportation Committee of City Council will consider whether photo radar should come to Ottawa’s streets. This has been a controversial topic, with some people suggesting it is “just a cash grab” by government, and others expressing concern that it represents an invasion of privacy. Yet, Ottawa already has a type of photo radar, in the form of red-light cameras at dangerous intersections, and there seems to be very little controversy about them.
The FHACA Board considers that photo radar would, in principle, be a valuable contribution to safer streets in and around our community. Many local residents have expressed concern over speeding cars on our streets. Speeding raises the danger level for pedestrians, cyclists, and in fact for everyone, particularly on those local streets that do not have sidewalks, and the many spots that lack proper lighting at night. Judicious placement of photo radar, in locations with documented high levels of speeding or other safety concerns, could reduce collisions and help save lives. If revenues from fines were directed specifically at implementing more traffic calming and safety-related measures, concerns about a cash grab could be alleviated, especially if the program contributes more broadly to a change in society’s attitude toward speeding.
Your views on this subject could make a difference. If you want to express your view, click on ‘Leave a comment‘ at the bottom of this post, or go to safestreetsottawa.ca and sign a petition to City Council that appears there. Or, send an email directly to our City Councillor, Keith Egli, at: firstname.lastname@example.org .