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Crosswalk cams eyed

Chief accepts proposal from councillor on concept

Posted: 01/25/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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Cars pass through a pedestrian corridor on University Crescent near Pembina Highway.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Cars pass through a pedestrian corridor on University Crescent near Pembina Highway. Photo Store

WINNIPEG police will examine the feasibility of installing photo-radar-like cameras and other safety measures at pedestrian corridors.

"We have to be open to look at anything that would improve safety for our citizens," Chief Devon Clunis said.

The Winnipeg Police Board met Friday morning and agreed to the proposal from Coun. Ross Eadie to study measures to bring motorists into compliance with traffic laws.

"Bad motorists are doing this all the time," Eadie (Mynarski) said. "They're blowing through pedestrian corridors because they know they can and they know it's against the law."

The board instructed the WPS to look at all aspects of installing cameras, including possible locations, costs and benefits. The report will be brought back in 60 days. The WPS will also consider adopting other measures that will improve pedestrian safety and bring motorists into compliance.

Eadie said he's pleased with the board's response and the willingness of Clunis to look into the issue.

"This is an issue of police enforcement," Eadie said, adding he believes the most violations are occurring on busy regional routes, including Main Street and Pembina Highway.

In Manitoba, motorists who fail to stop for a pedestrian at a pedestrian corridor face a fine of $175.30.

Motorists can also be fined an additional $143.75 for passing another vehicle stopped for a pedestrian.

Washington, D.C., is the only major municipality in North America with pedestrian cameras, having installed them in November at 16 crosswalks near schools and recreation centres.

Clunis told the board installing similar cameras would likely require the approval of the province.

Clunis said the WPS had already been looking at the issue of pedestrian safety and driver violations but was not prepared to release any results before a comprehensive report is brought back to the board.

"In principle, it sounds like an excellent idea but... you have to look at the practicality of implementing it," Clunis said.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 B4

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