Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 08/20/2014 10:38 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 08/20/2014 3:34 PM | Updates
Mayoral candidate Gord Steeves is pledging more prominent signage warning of photo radar at construction sites -- and a two-tiered fine system that would see higher penalties meted out only when workers are present.
The lawyer and former city councillor said Wednesday morning if he's elected mayor in October, large neon green or yellow signs would warn of photo radar at construction sites, 24 hours a day.
Addressing reporters alongside Kenaston Boulevard, Steeves said photo radar should be used to improve safety, not generate revenue for the city. He could not estimate how much less revenue the city would take in from photo radar if ticket volumes decrease as a result of his proposed change.
He said a ticket in the $200-to-$300 range for speeding at a construction site when workers are not present should be sufficient to act as a deterrent. Higher fines are warranted only when workers are present, he said.
Steeves said he does not believe it's feasible to eliminate photo radar altogether.
He also promised to lengthen the duration of yellow lights along roads with higher speed limits, claiming Winnipeg is the only major city that does not do this.
Todd Dube, founder of anti-photo-radar group Wise Up Winnipeg, attended Steeves' announcement and said he would vote for the former councillor.
Changing the fee structure for photo radar, however, would require the co-operation of the province, and the Selinger government is cool to the idea of tiers of construction-zone fines.
The existing single fine "helps ensure drivers comply with a posted speed limit prior to encountering workers by having the same fines apply whether or not workers are present," provincial spokesman Jean-Marc Prevost said in a statement.
"We want to bring a higher level of safety for construction workers and drivers. Workers are not always immediately visible to drivers approaching a construction zone. That’s why speed limits must be followed in construction zones at all times."
Earlier in the election campaign, fellow mayoral candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette also promised to extend the duration of yellow light and ensure photo radar cameras are placed only at locations where safety is an issue.
Check out our map to see how many tickets were issued at each intersection safety camera location in Winnipeg in 2013. Source: Winnipeg police's Photo Enforcement Safety Program Annual Report 2013. If you cannot see the map, try this link.
Updated on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM CDT: adds photo
1:25 PM: Adds provincial co-operation needed.
3:34 PM: Adds provincial response
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