Spruce Grove moving forward on photo radar

Crashes, insurance claims down since ATE implemented in '09

Spruce Grove will carry on with its photo radar program.

At its meeting Monday, council voted to move ahead with the program that has seen crashes in the city decrease since its inception in 2009.

Five new conditions were added to the program's continuation, which included possible warning tickets for first-time offenders, and potential enhancements to the intersections at Jennifer Heil Way and Century Road along Grove Drive.

Among the five was also a commitment to look at possible changes to the speed limit on Highway 16A, and a potential reduction in the number of operational hours.

Manager of Community and Protective Services David Wolanski says he's pleased with how the discussion progressed.

The one recommendation not passed related to revenue from the fines, which amounted to $2.5 million last year.
 
Staff would like to see that stay in the city's general revenue fund, while councillors have pressed them on creating a reserve fund to improve public perception, by showing that the city isn't reliant on that money to operate.

Wolanski says whatever happens going forward, there's important improvements to communication coming.

In a report from earlier this month, statistics show that the $2.5 million represents a number that continues to drop.

Wolanski says he's as happy as anyone with that.

The amount of each fine is set by the provincial government, and not the city, as the province also takes about a third of the revenue from fines.
 
For the first time, the city will develop its own policy on the practice, that will be used in tandem with provincial regulations.

Staff are also recommending the creation of an advisory committee, including members of the public.

Council spoke about the need for the committee to have a real and important voice in the discussion, rather than just be lip service when it comes to improving the city's communication with the public.

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