Some drivers in Alberta have strong opinions about photo-enforced speed zones. Drivers in these zones may receive a citation in the mail courtesy of a speed camera that clicks a photo of a vehicle when it exceeds the posted speed. Photo technology also provides a way for police to penalize those who run red lights. Photo radar creates millions in revenue for municipalities that utilize this passive form of law enforcement. However, as the number of driving offences declines, so does this revenue.
Safety advocates are more focused on the good news that the photo radar sites seem to be doing their jobs. The number of tickets Edmonton law enforcement issued in the last year dropped nearly 27 percent from the number issued just two years ago. This also translates to fewer traffic fatalities. Agents of the Office of Traffic Safety believe drivers have adapted to the radar zones and learned to slow down.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for red light runners. Nearly two thousand more tickets were issued to drivers failing to stop at red lights last year than in the previous year. Some of this increase results from the addition of more cameras, and the OTS warns that even more red-light cameras are coming.
The problem with speed radar and red-light cameras is that they may not always be reliable indicators of a traffic violation. Though most drivers simply pay their fines, automated traffic tickets may require an Alberta driver to appear in court and may carry penalties that include fines and points. Whether a driver receives a citation in the mail or directly from an officer, he or she has the right to dispute any ticket related to questionable driving offences.