Red light cameras equipped with photo radar may be coming to Stratford.
Politicians are considering having them installed at various intersections throughout the city to discourage motorists from speeding and running red lights while also adding another source of revenue. But Ed Dujlovic, the city’s director of infrastructure and development services, cautioned councillors money isn’t the reason many neighbouring municipalities, including the Region of Waterloo, install them.
“They’re really trying to reduce the accidents that were occurring,” he said. “The money they make – that’s an offshoot of it, but that’s not what the impetus was.”
Dujlovic said in Waterloo the cameras are only located at a handful of its 500-plus intersections where statistics show there has been an issue with angled collisions caused by motorists running red lights.
“They’re seeing about a million dollars in revenue as a result of that from the fines. Their cost is about $432,000 a year through this company,” he said.
Waterloo, as well as nearby regions such as Peel and Halton, and several other cities implemented them through a collective contract spearheaded by Toronto, Dujlovic said. Through the contract, a company is paid to install and maintain the equipment, as well as download the data and send it through the provincial courts. Stratford could join in the contract through agreements with Toronto and the Transportation Ministry, Dujlovic said.
As for locations, Dujlovic said the city has 24 signalized intersections, and staff could comb through police data to find out where they’re needed the most if council decides to go forward with them.
Coun. Tom Clifford said it’s an expensive project but effectively slows down traffic.
“It doesn’t matter what (speed limit) you put on the sign if you don’t have somebody to enforce it. It doesn’t make a difference,” he said.
Coun. Bonnie Henderson said the city should purchase more of the mobile signs displaying the speed of passing vehicles.
“Personally, I want to invest more in them. I think they work great,” she said.
Dujlovic said those signs cost about $6,000 and also collect speed and traffic volume data. Gerry Foster, the city’s deputy police chief, said that type of technology is “invaluable” for the force as it helps with deployment.
Coun. Kathy Vassilakos said the concept could generate revenue and free up some police officers to focus on other tasks.
“I’m generally in favour of doing anything that starts to actually modify people’s behaviours on the road,” she said.
City staff will write a report on the topic and return it to council later this fall.