With the discussion in the air regarding the reinstitution of photo radar coming to City Council on March 23, this week, I would like to spend a moment discussing the hazards associated with speeding.
Between 2005 and 2007, speeding was a primary factor associated with 93 deaths, almost 3000 injuries, and almost 9000 collisions in the Ottawa area.
When you make the decision to speed, it is important to remember that you are not only jeopardizing your own safety, but the safety of others. Behind every statistic, there is a story where someone’s life was changed for the worse. Remember that in poor road conditions, heavy traffic areas, or school/construction zones, the risk is simply not worth the reward.
This is why the Ottawa Police has identified traffic enforcement and speeding as one of their top three ongoing concerns for the city of Ottawa. I share this view.
On the topic of instituting photo radar into the City of Ottawa as a traffic calming measure, my number one concern within the discussion will be whether or not it will make our streets safer.
There are many instances of well-intentioned traffic mechanisms not always operating as intended. Stop signs, for example, may effectively work to bring vehicles to lower speeds; however, reckless drivers may run through the sign, endangering the lives of pedestrians who thought it was safe to cross the street.
Likewise, photo radar’s effects may prove unpredictable. Though a speeding deterrent, it will need to be demonstrated that the immediate effects will work to actively slow down drivers rather than simply punish them long after the risk has already been incurred.
Alternatively, I will need to examine whether or not the tool can successfully compensate in the areas where police simply do not have the manpower to monitor.
I do know that Ontario’s Minister of Transportation has expressed no interest in returning to this practice. Likewise, until the motion is presented, I will need to be convinced as well.
Please always report speeding to the Ottawa Police Call Centre at 613-236-1222 Ext 7300. Call Centre agents are available 7 days a week from 6 am until 2am.
As your Councillor, I always welcome your keen input and ideas on how we can work together to keep an open dialogue within the community of Stittsville. Please contact our office anytime by phone at 613-580-2476 or by e-mail at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca