March 21st, 2019

Photo radar doesn’t work to make roads safer


By Letter to the Editor on March 9, 2019.

I have been outspoken towards photo radar since I moved her 12 years ago. Yes, I had tickets and fought every one of them.

Why? Because when I lived in Ontario I watched closely as the truckers’ union took it to the Supreme Court. The decision was photo radar is unconstitutional. Why? In this country you are innocent till proven guilty. Period. The court stated that law enforcement have the means of proving who is driving and don’t. How? By pulling over the driver and ticketing whoever hands over their licence. Makes sense to me. They threw out photo radar.

There was a time when you flashed your lights to oncoming traffic to let them know there was radar ahead, you would be ticketed for obstruction of justice. Now the radio and newspaper and drivers let everyone know where they are. What’s the purpose of that?

With all due respect to Sergeant Wade Davison, your comments in Wednesday’s paper make me believe you did not listen to Minister Mason one bit. Why? Examples I see regularly: Highway 4 by Evergreen golf course, 43 Street South, South Parkside Drive. Never seen a accident anywhere near them places in 10 years yet photo radar is there.

I will say this, something needs to be done about speeding both in the city and county. We need more police presence. Where the heck are the cops? I drive for a living and I must say, no cops patrolling and pulling over drivers. None. Bad, aggressive, stupid driving everywhere and no cops. Why? Is it too demeaning for a cop to be placed on traffic duty?

I fought photo radar and encourage everyone to do the same. The Crown will lower your ticket to defer you from going to trial because they can’t win.

It is a cash cow because if it was working, people would not be driving nuts and the municipalities would not be cashing in with such high dollars.

Pat Berthelot

Lethbridge County

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11 Responses to “Photo radar doesn’t work to make roads safer”

  1. phlushie says:

    Kudos for your letter Pat. You are right about speeding being rampant. So is failure to stop for red lights and stop signs. One thing I have noticed on my drives on Mayor Magrath Drive. Driving south from the under pass at 50 km/hr every one is passing me, then by the Campbell Clinic the brake like come on and everyone is at 50k. By Pizza 73 many are up to 70 k (50k is still the limit there). Secondly, another favorite peev is the 4 way stop signs. To be realistic the City should just post “Please slow down” because that is what really happens. Thirdly, how about what is termed “a powerglide” stop to turn right on a red light. I have had many occasions to have to brake to avoid those types. Yes more police presence like it was in the 60’s and 70’s cold cure this. Funny thing, most of this occurred after the Government turned driver testing over to Registries.

  2. meisplayfull2 says:

    I travel thru school zones and park zones on a regular basis and truly believe that the photo radar does help in making these areas safer. Simple as that.

  3. Rayzor2002 says:

    Without the cops out patrolling, drivers act like idiots. School and parks are prime examples. Everyday I get passed on either sides by speeders. A clear police presence during the rush hours is necessary. Photo radar statistics have shown only a 1.4%reduction in accidents. Others have mentioned…traffic enforcement seems to be beneath officers.

  4. Jagtech says:

    Photo radar does not, and cannot prevent accidents. If you are speeding, say through a school zone, and “click”, you get your picture taken, did that slow you down at that time and prevent a possible accident? Absolutely not. As you didn’t hear the “click” of the camera, you speed merrily on your way, perhaps heading for a catastrophe.
    Now, had you been instantly made aware that you were speeding, you would likely have taken immediate action to slow, possibly avoiding an accident.
    The real solution is to use a digital speed sign (Your Speed Is…..) If you are overspeed, you are instantly made aware, and will likely slow down, and perhaps a catastrophe has been averted. Now, set up the photo radar about 1/2 block beyond that sign. Anyone who chooses to ignore that sign will now get a ticket, much deserved!
    This is the only sensible way to use photo radar to increase speed awareness and safety on the spot, and will ultimately prove that photo radar has historically been an ineffective cash cow.

  5. Seth Anthony says:

    That’s my position as well Jagtech.

    The only reason that method hasn’t been used, is because photo radar has little to nothing to do with safety, but everything to do with yet another cash grab from us peasants.

    The politicians and police who claim otherwise, must think we’re all too stupid to see through their lies and nonsense.

  6. biff says:

    ty for a solid letter, and many excellent replies.
    the law over stepped itself in being allowed to ticket the property, rather than the perpetrator. a rough parallel is if i lend golf clubs to a friend, who then whacks someone with one of them…i get charged? along with check stops, which impede the right of free movement of a person for having done nothing wrong (the idea that driving is a privilege and not a right, to underscore the “legality” of check stops, really does open one’s home to unwarranted checks as well, because – as many on the streets know – a home is a “privilege” and not a right as well). photo radar is unacceptable legislation in a free state.

  7. George McCrea says:

    What really slows people down? Police sitting behind a parked car in a school or playground zone with its lights on. Ounce of prevention was once the mantra. Evolution has brought us the pound of cure (photo radar) while prevention goes out the window.

  8. Homepage says:

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  9. meisplayfull2 says:

    I was out this fine morning and saw both police enforcement and photo radar very busy. But yes, plenty made it through for the simple reason that they drive the speed limit. For the ones who did not, the city thanks you for your decision to speed through the area. Yip your choice how you spend your money

  10. Resolute says:

    I think photo radar is in place because it generates government revenue while allowing its beneficiaries to claim increased safety without any statistical evidence. Win-win. Who can profitably argue against safety, whether perceived or real? So I hear that the photoradar van regularly hiding behind the treebreak 70ft off University Drive at the 60 to 50kph speed change makes a fair bit of coin. And the van hiding up in the coulee above Whoopup eastbound gets its fair share of citizen coin too. As do many other cashpots located in speed changes and generally driver-safe/bored spots. A little honesty would result in the termination of this whole sneaky pastime. Thereby freeing up well-trained and motivated police officers from this menial task to some useful and challenging POLICING!


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