Photo radar is a good thing for Saskatchewan roads

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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In a few months, the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Ninth Avenue will have photo radar as part of a pilot project.

During the 2012 SUMA convention, Mayor Glenn Hagel informally discussed with other community leaders from across the province the notion of photo radar along the Trans-Canada Highway within city limits. Times-Herald file photo

The provincial government’s recent announcement of photo radar expansion is expected to take effect early this summer. The other sites in the province include the Ring Road in Regina and Circle Drive in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said the locations might have more than one deployment point and the photo radar devices could be anywhere along the roads. Any vehicle going above the speed limit could result in a ticket, however to give drivers a chance, there will be signs posted where photo radar is in use.

Photo radar is already in place in certain highway construction zones. The photo radar expansion will also be used in school zones and other higher risk places.

Hopefully this initiative will get people to slow down and drive the speed limit. With cars whizzing down highways and speeding through school zones, it can often result in collisions and other accidents that could’ve been avoided.

For those of us who drive the speed limit, this change will not affect us at all.

But for those of us who don’t obey the law and speed, they will have a choice to make: slow down to avoid a ticket and maintain safety or keep speeding and get a ticket and be unsafe on the road.

However, photo radar cannot fully replace speed enforcement measures in place by police. According to an article on the Saskatoon StarPhoenix website, called Two easy ways to beat photo radar: don’t speed, or be rich, an independent traffic engineers’ study found that in Edmonton, every 1,000 photo radar tickets issued correlated to four or five fewer accidents.

It also discovered every 1,000 hours of human police traffic enforcement in Edmonton ended up in 83 fewer accidents.

Both aspects are important. Certainly, people who speed aren’t going to like this new implementation, but it can make a difference.

Critics might say this is a cash grab, that the only thing the government wants is a way to collect more money.

But the article also claimed critics aren’t fans of photo radar because it “interferes with their speeding. Since they can’t say that without looking irresponsible, they complain instead that photo radar is a government cash grab.”

Whether or not a cash grab is part of the motivation, it’s irrelevant.

What is relevant is that no one likes to pay more than they must. If this is what it takes to get people to slow down and obey the law, then it’s a great idea.

And if we get a ticket and complain about it, just remember that we chose to speed.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Government Insurance

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Ring Road, Regina Saskatoon Edmonton

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