What About Photo Radar?

This Wednesdayphoto radar, 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:  ward9@ottawa.ca .

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5 Responses to What About Photo Radar?

  1. lauranewtonmiller says:

    I’m all for photo radar. I walk to and from work every day from our neighbourhood and there are cars constantly speeding. I also wish there were sidewalks on Hilliard and on Sunnycrest. I know there was a speeding check thing awhile ago on Hilliard but where they were placed seemed to be in spots where people were already starting to slow down to get around the corners.
    My son and I had to jump onto someone’s lawn the other evening while walking our dog b/c the car was not giving us any space as he/she drove by. We want our kids to walk to school/be more active (and my kids are) but my heart skips a beat when they go out knowing they are on the road with the cars. Sidewalks and photo radar. I’m all for it.

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    • Hi Laura, thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts! Your thoughts are echoed throughout our community. The Association takes these concerns very seriously so we thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  2. Donna says:

    I like the idea of photo radar on some of our busy streets provided that it is proven to change behaviour. Is there any research? Otherwise we are no further ahead. I’d also like to know, in advance, if adding photo radar will impact property taxes. if it is just a few dollars then no big deal but if significant, residents should know in advance.

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    • Hi Donna, thank you for your comment. You have some very good questions and we also hope to get to the bottom of these concerns. Our road safety is eager to hear the concerns of our community so we welcome this terrific dialogue.

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  3. Peter Macnaughton says:

    I am in favour of photo radar. Established speed limits are legal limits and exceeding them should result in penalties. I don’t think most people look at police operated radar as a cash grab nor invasion of privacy; why should they do so for photo radar? The city (and the province) should be able to use advanced technology to enforce the rules of the road, freeing personnel to concentrate on more serious issues.

    While the city is looking at the issue of photo radar, they should also look at technology for detecting drivers who fail to come to a full stop at stop signs and traffic lights, and driving while using hand-held devices. Another area to monitor is cyclists who operate their bicycles very unsafely, ignoring the same regulations which impose speed limits and stop signs.

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