Albertan drivers beware. Calgary photo radar is being expanded into some new areas of the city for the month of March. If you tend to go a little over the speed limit during your daily commutes, you may find a ticket in the mail soon.
Calgary Police said in a statement on Sunday, March 1, that mobile photo radar will be set up in numerous new areas of the city.
The announcement comes despite reports last year suggesting police could be stopped from expanding photo radar.
Global News reported, during an examination of the rules in November, that municipalities and police agencies would be barred from installing the devices in new locations.
Announcing the review, transportation minister Ric McIver discussed some locals' concerns that photo radar is being used to “generate backdoor tax revenue” rather than for safety.
Global News quoted him, adding that Albertans are “skeptical about the impact photo radar has on safety,” and claimed that the province has three times as many photo radar setups per capita than B.C., yet the roads are “not meaningfully safer.”
This announcement created hope for Albertans who are opposed to photo radar.
But then, the city’s police service revealed last month it would be introducing new units across the city.
And over the weekend, police announced that even more are on the way.
They published a long list of communities that would be the focus of photo radar.
The list includes Abbeydale, Acadia, Albert Park/Radisson Heights, Alyth/Bonnybrook, Applewood Park, Auburn Bay, Coral Springs, Cranston, East Shepard Industrial, Elbow Park, Erin Woods, Fairview, Forest Lawn, Haysboro, Kelvin Grove, Lakeview, Manchester Industrial, Marlborough, Marlborough/Forest Heights, Mayland Heights, McKenzie Towne, Meadowlark Park, Monterey Park, New Brighton, Oakridge, Ogden, Penbrook Meadows, Pump Hill, Renfrew, Rundle, Southwood, Willow Park, and Windsor Park.
Calgary Police describe photo radar, which is pretty controversial across Canada, as an “enforcement” tool that is used to make sure speed limits are followed where it is “unsafe for police officers to conduct manual enforcement.”
The radars work by detecting when a vehicle is going too fast and setting off an alarm when the limit is broken.
They also take pictures, which are used to identify the vehicle and its owner. We've all seen one of the shots in the mail at least once.
Photo radar is used across Canada. Hundreds of new cameras were installed in Toronto last year.
Canadians have brought up several flaws in the system
For example, in Toronto last month, critics pointed out that cameras are unable to read some of Ontario’s new license plates.
Earlier this week, Calgary Police issued a warning to residents about illegally using license plate covers, which can registration numbers.