City backs down on full launch of Speed on Green

Red Deer council votes in favour of extending warning ticket period to November

The City of Red Deer will be providing more driver education on Speed on Green, a tool aimed to increase safety at high risk collision intersections in the City of Red Deer.

The City will also provide an additional warning ticket period and commence violation ticketing Nov. 1st, and they will also undertake a review of their policy regarding the use of traffic cameras and photo radar.

The matter was discussed at City council Monday night.

The resolution came about from Councillor Tanya Handley’s original Notice Of Motion to delay the issuing of fees generated by Speed on Green until a provincial review is completed, and continue on with warning tickets to allow for further public safety education.

She brought her Notice Of Motion forward after hearing in May that the provincial government was doing a full review of photo radar as it’s used across the province.

“They made some comments about people believing that photo radar was a cash cow in the province and they wanted to make sure that municipalities weren’t using it in that manner, and that it was for safety and that the revenues generated were fair,” said Handley.

Administration had contacted the Solicitor General’s department responsible for the program review of automated traffic enforcement, but the department was unable to provide any information as to when the review in the province will be completed.

Since the City just introduced Speed on Green technology Handley felt it was important to wait until that provincial review was done and they had their approval on the program as it’s being rolled out.

“When this was presented to us in January there was a test done and there were 400 vehicles over a five day period that were exceeding the speed limit, and that was what moved me to realize that we do have a speeding problem in some key intersections in the City.”

She said although she was not generally a fan of that type of enforcement, in this case, she said, it was evident that some of the key intersections in the City have a real speeding problem.

“So that really is for me the most important part of this – if we have people know that they’re going to get a ticket, they’ll slow down at those intersections and make those key intersections safer for our community.”

She said although her original motion failed at Monday night’s council meeting, she is okay with the extended time frame of the new alternative motion.

Like many other councillors around the table, Handley didn’t think the City did enough public notification before they started sending out notices to people.

“People need more time to wrap their head around what this means because it is a new concept for Red Deer,” she said.

Councillor Dianne Wyntjes, who moved the passed motion, agreed with all of her fellow councillor’s points around their thoughts on Speed on Green.

“As Councillor (Buck) Buchanan has said to me in his policing work, he’s seen many things and we often forget about our EMS workers and our police workers who have to be on those scenes of the accidents, so if anything this discussion I think will be a reminder for all of us,” said Wyntjes.

She said the additional time extended to Nov. 1st will allow one more round for folks to understand what Speed on Green is and what not speeding means in the community, and at the same time keeping some of the City’s revenue intact.

For 2017, a revenue of $350,000 was budgeted for Speed on Green.

Speed on Green was implemented effective July 11th in the City with a one-month period of warning tickets prior to the issuance of violation tickets.

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