Both the Mayor and the NDP provincial government have suggested that placement of red light camera and photo radar. It has nothing to do with revenue generation and that’s why you see all those photo radar vans parked outside the far ends of school yards at 7am Sunday mornings. I know I wake my kids up super early on Sunday so they can get to the schoolyard to play before 7am.
Safety, yeah right.
Anyway, let me tell you about an incident that happened earlier this week. I was driving north on Pembina in morning rush hour traffic. I came to a controlled cross walk in the middle lane. A pedestrian had crossed the other side, reached the median, hit the button and was about to continue crossing. Both the car in the median lane and I had stopped. I had come to a complete stop and the car in the curb lane whizzed through the cross walk. The pedestrian was still in front of the car in the median lane, so no real danger but a flagrant violation of the traffic law. As the pedestrian walked in front of me I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed another car approaching in the curb lane. There was no way this car would be able to stop. So I hammered my horn – the pedestrian stopped and the car in the curb lane skidded to a stop in the crosswalk. Had I not hit the horn, surely the pedestrian would have been killed – that’s how fast the driver in the curb lane was going.
So why do I recount this story?
Because lets just pretend for a moment that it is all about safety. Wouldn’t it do a better job of making the streets safer and changing people’s driving habits if they took these photo radar units and some of the red light cameras and installed them at controlled cross walks so they would catch people blowing through them after the lights have activated?
And if it is all about safety, how about incremental fines? $200 first offense, a second in a year is $500 and a third is $2000 with a six to twelve month license suspension.
Of course when it’s all about safety, that might really change peoples behaviour.
But how do you replace that revenue if you actually change behaviour?
Of course – it’s all about safety.