Collisions, some fatal, are occurring at an increasing rate on the Trans-Canada Highway by Moose Jaw.
In an effort to get people to slow down and prevent collisions, the Moose Jaw Board of Police Commissioners is advocating for the provincial government to authorize a photo radar pilot project in place as soon as possible.
“There would be a photo radar documentation of vehicle speeds on the Trans-Canada as (the vehicle) passes through Moose Jaw,” said Mayor Glenn Hagel. “There would be bold signage as you enter that area from both sides, clearly indicating that photo radar enforcement is in place.”
Hagel said since the year 2000, there have been 53 collisions at the Trans-Canada Highway and Ninth Avenue Northwest intersection and four people have died. There have been 22 collisions since 2000 at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Thatcher Drive East.
“A really key piece is that we would want to be absolutely obvious in alerting the Trans-Canada drivers that photo radar is enforced,” said Hagel. “It’s not our objective to catch people speeding. It is our objective to give them the warning so that they know very clearly that if they’re speeding, they’re going to get caught.
“Photo radar, in effect, gives you the effect that people have when they see a police cruiser by the road … they slow down. Photo radar does the same thing if you have the signage to indicate that.”
He said the police commissioner board, the local MLAs and himself met with the provincial minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Minister Donna Harpauer, in early September to make the case for a photo radar test project.
Hagel stated while there are no indications yet on if it will happen, Harpauer said she would raise the concern with her government colleagues as she takes it as a “serious request.” Hagel anticipated that, if adopted, it would take at least a year in order to go through the proper legislation processes.
“What we’re recommending is that we treat this as a pilot project and then do our own review,” said Hagel, adding that the province would be involved in the review. “If they’re feeling cautious about authorizing photo radar enforcement, what we’re saying is treat this as a pilot project and if it proves itself, then act accordingly. If it doesn’t prove itself, then don’t expand it.”
The Moose Jaw Police Service would operate the photo radar because it is within city limits. Therefore, the city would also have jurisdiction to issue tickets.
“Ideally we would prefer to never, ever catch anybody because people would slow down,” said Hagel. “That’s our objective, to slow the traffic down, particularly as it related to those two intersections.”
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.