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Letters  

Beware photo radar creep

After 60 years in Alberta, we moved to the Okanagan in 2018, finally saying good riddance to Alberta's cash cow photo radar system.

I'm not a driver who speeds, nor is my wife. 

Over 20 years of having photo radar, I received two photo radar tickets. One for going 112 km/h in a 100 km/h zone, and the last one for going 53 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. Initially, you were allowed about 9 km/h grace over the speed limit before you received a ticket.

Tightening of the rules came about two years ago. My personal notice the rules had changed came in the mail – a $90 ticket for 3 km/h over the limit.

I decided to fight the ticket in court and pleaded not guilty. The prosecutor offered a 50% reduction in the fine if I pleaded guilty and paid it immediately. I had spent five hours sitting in a crowded traffic court, so I paid the fine. This offer is no longer made by the courts, and you now need to set some time and money aside if you want to dispute a ticket.

To understand how intrusive Alberta photo radar is, I have seen four photo radar traps within a few hundred metres of each other, getting drivers in every direction. The photo flashes were continuous from each of the traps.

The cash grab is outrageous. It may have started out as way to reduce accidents, but it has ended up being nothing more than a cash grab.

When Edmonton was searching for a new moniker to replace "City of Champions," the most popular public recommendation was "City of Speed Traps." They are hidden in traffic lights, in small boxes that sit by the road, in trucks, in vans, on top of overpasses, hidden on side roads, basically, everywhere. 

On a drive to work, you will encounter 3-5 of them that you can spot, more that you can't see.

If B.C. allows each municipality to administer their own rules on photo radar, we had all better get used to increased costs of driving.

Terry Gierulski, Okanagan Falls



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