The Alberta government announced this week it will be making changes to photo radar across the province following a review showing the initiative is more of a money grab.

According to the government, their hope is to eliminate photo radar as a tool for revenue generation and that changes to the guidelines will enhance transparency, increase oversight, and enforce the principle that photo radar can be used only to improve road safety.

The review also showed that the photo radar guidelines need better data to demonstrate how it contributes to traffic safety.

The guideline changes will require municipal Traffic Safety Plans to use collision data to ensure photo radar programs are directly tied to safety and be audited by the provincial government, and require police services and/or municipalities to post and update photo radar locations and their rationale on their websites each month.

The use of photo radar will also be prohibited in transitional speed zones, high-speed multi-lane roadways, and require annual reporting and evaluation of how the programs are achieving traffic safety outcomes.

Conventional traffic enforcement, like police patrolling or scanning traffic with a radar, is still allowed in locations where automated enforcement is prohibited.

Radar is also still allowed in school zones, playground zones, and construction zones.

Changes will be implemented over the next year to allow enough time for municipalities to adapt.

According to the Alberta Government, over a 10-year period, photo radar has been directly responsible for a 1.4 per cent decrease in collision rates and a 5.3 per cent reduction in the proportion of fatal collisions.

The current guidelines for photo radar have been in effect since 2014.

For more information on photo radar in Alberta, click here.

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