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Alberta bans photo radar on Calgary, Edmonton ring roads, saying it’s being used to get cash, not enhance safety

Alberta says from now on, photo radar across the province will be used to improve safety, and not generate revenue.

This comes following the province’s ban on new radar equipment and locations, which started on Dec. 1, 2019.

Now, four years later, Alberta says photo radar on ring roads in Calgary and Edmonton will be banned.

However, the province says it will engage with municipalities and law enforcement over the next year on removing “fishing hole” locations across Alberta.

“Alberta has the highest usage of photo radar in Canada, and these changes will finally eliminate the cash cow that affects so many Albertans,” transportation and economic corridors minister Devin Dreeshen said Thursday. “Photo radar must only be used to improve traffic safety, and with theses changes, municipalities will no longer be able to issue thousands of speeding tickets simply to generate revenue.”

The province says the cap on new photo radar equipment, programs, and locations will be extended to the one-year mark of consultation — Dec. 1, 2024.

Calgary and Edmonton will have the option to reintroduce photo radar units that were previously used on ring roads to areas that will have an impact on safety — school, playground, and construction zones.

Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot said he was happy with the changes announced by the province.

“I am very pleased to see this change to allow our police force to redeploy photo radar from Stoney Trail into high-risk areas in our communities such as school zones, construction zones, and playground zones due to changing traffic patterns,” he said. “This will result in increased traffic safety for all Calgary drivers and pedestrians.”

According to the province, photo radar was first introduced in 1987, and there are more than 2,300 radar sites in Alberta.

Calgary’s ring road has eight photo radar sites, while Edmonton’s has 22. All of these can be relocated to high-risk areas in each city.

Photo radar in Alberta generated $171 million last year.

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