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Council approves new $20-M photo radar deal

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City council has voted to approve a seven-year, $20-million deal that will see ACS Public Sector Solutions operate digital red-light intersection speed cameras.

The move means Winnipeg will award its photo-radar program contract to ACS Public Sector Solutions from 2013 to 2020. Police want the contractor, who’d been providing the service, to switch from film cameras to digital, which would mean clearer photos and more efficient processing of red-light tickets.

Council voted 14-2 to approve the deal. Couns. Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands) and Brian Mayes (St. Vital) voted against it, saying Winnipeg would be better off devoting more resources to traditional enforcement.

In a recent city report, police reviewed the impact of increasing the number of full-time officers dedicated to traffic enforcement to 67 from 10, and found the increasing cost of salaries and court costs would reduce the program’s net revenue. The police service also examined whether it makes sense to create a city-run photo-radar special operating agency, and concluded it would have to be built from scratch, which could take at least a year.

Contracting out the service is the cheapest option, the report said, as it will cost Winnipeg a base price of $41.70 per ticket to hire a service provider, compared with $69 under a special operating agency or $100 per ticket if Winnipeg were to add an additional 57 officers to conduct traffic enforcement.

The report said hiring a photo-radar contractor would also net more money to contribute to the police service, at about $5.5 million a year.

 

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