Calgary’s photo radars are not going anywhere. On February 1, the city’s police service issued a statement revealing four new locations where they are setting up photo radar cameras to detect speeding vehicles. As part of their ongoing initiative to “foster a safe driving environment” in the city’s intersections, Calgary Police’s new photo radars will be set up all over the town.

Calgary Police confirmed in a statement, new photo radars will be installed on 16 Avenue, Crowchild Trail, Deerfoot Trail, and Stoney Trail. What is this photo radar thing everyone’s been talking about?

According to the Calgary Police website, photo radar refers to the set of laws allowing speeding vehicles to be photographed. The radar technology detects the speed of the vehicle as it enters and exits its beams. If the speed of the vehicle is higher than the limit of that particular area, then the system sounds an alarm and a photo is taken.

If you have been recorded, then you, or the owner of the vehicle, can expect a notice in the mail.

In addition to photo radar, Calgary Police has also installed 50 Intersection Safety Camera (ISC) across the city to monitor vehicles passing through the intersection, where they will be on the lookout for speeding or red-light violations. These cameras detect speed and they can also tell if a vehicle has run through a red light at intersections. Get ready for more tickets!

This expansion is announced amid a great deal of controversy around the appropriate use of photo radar to catch speeding infractors. We have already seen that this photo radar technology as it stands is prone to error and has become a point of frustration for many drivers across the province.

Narcity spoke to Calgary Police about the mobile photo radar locations and they stated that these announcements are routinely posted to keep the public updated on the latest photo radar developments.

They said that these new locations are  “picked based on the data that [Calgary Police] have available and the community requests.” The press release is issued to the public for the “sake of public education on traffic safety.”

Last November, CBC reported that Alberta’s Justice and Transportation Minister Ric McIver planned to freeze the use of photo-radar devices effective December 1, 2019.

The freeze is supposed to give them enough time to study the usage of photo radar so that it is actually driving awareness on traffic safety and reducing incidents, and not being used as a revenue generator for the police.

 

However, Calgary Police have defended their use of the photo radar, with their Chief of Police Mark Neufeld defending their city’s application of photo radar to city reporters. According to Calgary Herald, Neufeld said, “I would say that in our community [photo radar] has been used appropriately for traffic safety, which equates to public safety.”

On top of photo radar, Calgary drivers also have to deal with new laws passed around driving, similarly also designed to boost road safety. It is hardly any surprise that the police have ramped up their efforts in disciplining poor traffic behavior.

Calgary Police remain steadfast in their photo radar technology, so they are not going away anytime soon. Our drivers will just have to be more vigilant. 

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