Lights, Cameras, Fines$!!
Photo radar isn't about speed enforcement. It's about milking motorists for more of their hard-earned money while doing absolutely nothing to make Calgary's streets safer.
This seems obvious to everyone except the City of Calgary officials who have become addicted to the revenue generated by the photo radar cash cow in Calgary.
They can't wait to find new locations for photo radar traps, seeing each car as a potential source of revenue to fund bigger government.
Let's look at the photo radar facts.
First of all, the impact of photo radar on traffic safety and ending speeding is minimal - arguably negligible.
In nearly all cases, speeding itself isn't the cause of collisions. Things like distracted driving, impaired driving, improper merging, and illegal vehicle parking on roadsides are all significantly higher causes of accidents.
And none of them are prevented by photo radar.
A former RCMP officer who worked in traffic enforcement makes this point - and notes that the only reason "speed" is targeted is because it is easy to catch, and easy to fine.
When it comes to photo radar abuse, the City of Calgary is at the top of the list.
Photo radar enforcement vehicles are set up on long, wide roads to catch speeders, even though that area of road has little history of being a site for collisions.
A perfect example of this is the ubiquitous photo radar trap that is frequently (nearly permanently) setup on Memorial Drive West right before the speed limit increases from 50 Km/hour to 70 Km/hour.
Knowing that the speed limit increases on that road, and with two lanes (each way) and no stop lights or stop signs, drivers begin to accelerate to the higher speed limit before the 70 Km/hour zone comes into force.
And that's where the City makes thousands of dollars in fines, while not improving traffic safety one bit.
It is a cash cow, pure and simple.
In a surprising twist, it is Alberta's NDP government that is now looking to hold Calgary's feet to the fire on this issue (although it should be noted that they've had a report outlining the problems of photo radar sitting on their desk for months, and it was only when the United Conservative Party was about to push the issue that the NDP announced they were taking action on it).
They believe that taxpayers have been ripped off when it comes to photo radar and that Calgary is simply using it as a way to get more money while continuing their unrelenting War on the Car - something that Save Calgary has raised as an issue several times over the last year.
And they're right.
Ridiculously low-speed limits on some roads, enforced by photo radar that empties out the wallets of Calgarians, is doing nothing to improve traffic safety.
We call on the City of Calgary to stop driving us to the poorhouse by abusing photo radar, and to invest more police resources into catching drivers who are driving dangerously, driving while distracted, driving while impaired, or driving in a way that creates chaos on the roads (like those who merge onto freeways going significantly under that the posted speed limit).
And we renew our call for the City of Calgary to end its ideological, shortsighted, indefensible War on the Car.