Athabasca on the radar
Town of Athabasca council discusses implementation of photo radar in town
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017 04:00 pm
Council dipped their toes into the issue of photo radar at town council March 21, after receiving a letter of support for photo radar from a couple of residents.
While no decision was made for or against photo radar, a comprehensive discussion ensued.
Coun. Tim Verhaeghe kicked it off by saying he is not an advocate of photo radar.
“It’s not a deterrent, because you don’t know you were speeding until you get a nice photo of your license plate in the mail sometime later,” he said.
In agreement with Verhaeghe, Coun. Tanu Evans said he thinks photo radar is an “underhanded way for municipalities to get a little more revenue” and he would not support it in any way.
The letter addressed to council noted that with the installation of new services in town, such as the new school and pool, and realization of increased taxes as a result, they would like council to consider implementing photo radar.
“It makes good sense that you are not only making the town more safe to live in, as well as collecting money from those who choose to break the law,” the letter read.
It also pointed to Morinville as a community that has effectively used photo radar to cut down on speeding.
Morinville has faced contention over the issue, and in fact held a plebiscite in 2014 on whether to keep the program.
Coun. Shelly Gurba said she thinks photo radar is a good thing, and if one is a law-abiding citizen then photo radar shouldn’t affect them.
“People that are not doing the speed limit show be getting nailed, and I don’t have an issue with people getting speed tickets if they deserve it,” Gurba said.
Verhaeghe agreed that speed is an issue, and something needs to be done about it, however this is an enforcement issue.
Coun. Steve Schafer said he has no problem with photo radar until he is the one to receive a ticket, and it would be interesting to hear what the community has to say about this through a poll.
Evans agreed with including the community in a decision should council wish to take the next step, but said he thinks a referendum would be called for.
“If there is support on this council to undergo something like this I would urge council to consider doing what Morinville did, put it up to a referendum, and put it into the hands of the community,” he said.