With recent discussions surrounding the Photo Radar/Laser programs across the province, the Town of Edson would like to provide some information about our current program.
With residential, commercial, and industrial areas right along the highway, and no service roads, it’s very important to adhere to the 50 km/h speed limit. As well there are a number of high pedestrian areas along the highway. The Town is also reviewing options to help alleviate those concerns.
Relating back to the Town’s Strategic Priority of providing opportunities for a lifestyle that is happy, healthy and safe, the Edson photo enforcement program is built to help reduce speeding though our community and has been active since 2006.
There are a number of considerations when selecting these enforcement locations.
- High Risk Locations - Where the safety of citizens or police officers would be a risk through conventional enforcement methods
- High Frequency Locations - Where motorists are ignoring or breaking traffic laws on an on-going basis
- High Collision Locations - Where there is a greater frequency of property damage, injury or fatal collisions
- High Pedestrian Volume Locations - Where there is a high volume of pedestrian traffic
Every year the selected locations are audited by the province to ensure guidelines are being met and proper signage is in place.
While safety is the purpose of the program, it’s no secret it does bring in money. Edson’s photo enforcement revenues are split three ways with approximately 30% going to the Town, 30% to the Province, and about 40% to the operator. Edson’s portion of the revenue goes 100% back into the Town’s policing budget, offsetting those costs which would normally come from general tax revenues. A portion of the Provincial funds go back into programs such as Victim Services. It’s also important to note that the operator is financially responsible for all equipment, manpower, servicing, etc.
Another statistic that is tracked with photo enforcement is the where the infractions are coming from. With the exception of the first couple of years the program was implemented, a majority of those ticketed are non-local. Local residents have adjusted their driving habits and average just 15-20% of the infractions. This is good evidence that the program, combined with the efforts of the RCMP, have been successful in getting the message about speeding out to our community.
Photo enforcement is only one tool being utilized to help reduce speeding in our community. The local school divisions have been a great partner in erecting visual speed tracking signs, the RCMP have more visible patrols throughout the community, and other options are also being explored.
It’s hoped this information will help residents understand the photo enforcement program, where the money goes, and why the program is in place.
For more information on the program, and the list of photo enforcement locations, you can visit our website. http://www.edson.ca/departments/protective-services/photo-enforcement, or contact our Protective Services office at 780-723-3178.