Peterborough County council will ask the province to amend legislation so counties can levy fines when using photo radar, something that’s not currently permitted, and which staff consider to be a roadblock to its use in the county.
The decision follows a staff report and recommendations on the use of photo-radar on county roads, after a number of vehicle accidents propelled councillors to ask for guidance.
Another problematic issue with the implementation of photo radar is that only community safety zones and school zones qualify for it, said Sheridan Graham, the county’s chief administrative officer.
She recommended — and it was approved — that consultants report to the county’s transportation master plan committee’s update to consider school and community safety zones.
In September, a petition was created by North Kawartha Township and Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith asking the province to install community safety zones on Highway 28, near areas identified as “hot spots” for collisions.
North Kawartha Township Mayor Carolyn Amyotte reported she had a “very productive” meeting Tuesday with the Ministry of Transportation and Smith regarding Highway 28 safety.
There are also alternatives to photo-radar such as digital speed indicator signs, Joe Taylor, mayor of Otonabee South-Monaghan Township told council.
The county will also be working with the OPP in respect to enforcement, and Smith and North Kawartha Township continue to work together to get photo-radar in areas “under provincial jurisdiction,” said Graham.
“So, it’s a multi-fold program,” she said.
Due to a number of other delaying factors — including a provincial review of the photo-radar program — Graham said photo radar would likely not be able to be established in the county until late 2020 or 2023.
Councillors agreed staff would report back to them once the provincial review is completed with further information on details related to the program, resourcing and cost impacts.
Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson said she is a major advocate of photo radar, because “it saves police resources for jobs that we need them for ... and I think it’s imperative that we look at this technology. We know it works and it’s not disputed.”
“I totally agree with you. Absolutely, it works,” said Warden J. Murray Jones. “I think we’re doing this for the right reasons. We just have to find the best way to do it, the sooner the better.”
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner