Photo radar can be used to make roads safer. However, the arguments presented to City council recently for obtaining a second photo radar were not about safety, but about money as it was reported that the new camera is expected to generate $600,000 in revenue.
That leaves little doubt about the true purpose & use of photo radar.
If traffic safety were truly the objective the use of photo radar would be constrained by guidelines. For example:
* 80% of photo radar locations must be in areas with a specified minimum level of death and injury within 1 km in the previous three years (For example: two collisions resulting in death or serious injury).
* 20% of photo radar locations may be locations of local concern. For example: school zones and play grounds.
* Photo radar vehicles should be clearly visible to motorists so as to act as a deterrent.
Clear policies such as these are needed to ensure photo radar is used to improve traffic safety. Without such policies, one can only conclude that the City’s main interest it to generate an extra $600,000.