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Photo radar approved for town of St. Paul

Jul 02, 2014 02:00 pm | Sam Macdonald

After trying other methods to curtail speeding and other traffic offenses, Town of St. Paul council has decided to set up a photo radar enforcement system to monitor traffic this coming fall.

After a brief discussion of rates at the June 24 meeting, council carried a motion to allow Global Traffic Group to install photo enforcement within the town.

“The limits are set and we’ve tried enforcing the laws with the RCMP and bylaw officers, but the residents in those areas are saying that’s not helping. People are having problems crossing roads with the excessive speed some vehicles have coming into town,” said Mayor Glenn Andersen in a phone call with the Journal.

“Problems with traffic are something the town’s been trying to combat for years. There are problems with people speeding . . . not only on the highways but on the streets too,” he added.

Global proposed installing a system that uses advanced image-capturing technology to monitor and record traffic infractions in town, at a meeting held in January.

The system would be used to monitor traffic in areas that have consistently been problematic.

At last week’s meeting, CAO Ron Boisvert said, “Once they get a motion to approve this, they will start the necessary paperwork provincially. They have a process they go through for provincial legislation, and they have to advertise for 90 days.”

Boisvert noted the system would be installed and would start running on Oct 1. Council was unable to disclose the rates, citing legal concerns.

After last week’s meeting, Andersen said areas of particular concern include 57 St., 51 St., and 41 St., and Hwy 29 leading into the east and west ends of town.

Andersen said a machine set up to indicate motorists’ speed was one of the past measures taken to gauge the problem. It showed just how severe the speeding was, with many vehicles coming into town at 100 km/h and more.

“We feel that since residents are complaining, we have to do something. (Photo enforcement) is one idea we had,” said the mayor.

Anderson said another idea the town had was to put lights at the Hwy 29 and 57 St. intersection, near the King’s Motel. The town consulted with Alberta Transportation, who carried out a traffic impact study. However, the town did not meet the necessary criteria to have lights installed at the intersection by the province.

When speaking on the funds that would be collected from infractions, the mayor said the photo radar system isn’t being put in place to gather revenue, but it “will be there for safety first.”

Andersen suggested a good use of the money made from speeding tickets issued by the system would be putting it towards lights at the Hwy 29 and 57 St. intersection, so the town could construct them on its own, rather than relying on the province.

“Why should residents in the community pay for this safety feature when they’re not the one causing the problem? We’ve exhausted all avenues and are not winning, quite frankly.”

The mayor hopes photo enforcement will get people to pay attention to their speed.

“We’re trying to keep the community safer, and address the concerns, we’ve tried everything we could possibly do, and this is our last resort.”

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