Photo radar could be coming to the capital by the end of 2019, according to the MTO.
Pedestrians and residents in the Little Italy neighbourhood surround St. Anthony’s School want to see the city’s first photo radar system installed at the corner of Booth street and Gladstone Avenue. The school zone, residents say, sees thousands of cars and trucks passing through daily; some speeding and running red lights putting children and their parents in danger.
“When they know that their speeds might be recorded, absolutely they'll slow down,” said Ottawa councillor Catherine McKenney, who along with Michael Powell of the Dalhousie Community Association, has been advocating for the installation of photo radar for years.
Councillor @cmckenney pushing for photo radar at Booth / Gladstone where residents and community association have been advocating for measures to reduce speeds and make roads safer @ctvottawa pic.twitter.com/mxeUvqDghR— Mike Arsalides (@MArsalidesCTV) October 4, 2019
“We have far too many deaths on our roads. And that's all deaths, whether its drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians and we've normalized that,” said McKenney, while recording speeds of drivers with a radar gun during the Friday morning rush.
“We're tired of waiting and we want to show there are places willing to accept it,” said Powell, who pointed to the 2017 passing of the Safer School Zone Act by the Ontario Liberal government. The legislation is currently being reviewed by government officials according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
“MTO is continuing to work with municipalities to support them in implementation of automated speed enforcement and is currently developing a regulatory framework to govern the requirements needed for the implementation of uniform automated speed enforcement across the province,” said Bob Nichols, MTO Senior Media Liaison Officer.
“Enough is enough, three years ago the city passed a motion calling for it, two and change years ago, the province passed legislation,” said Powell.
McKenney and Powell’s push is for a similar program to the one in place in Gatineau where police have installed at least 20 photo radar systems across the city; some are permanent, others moved around when needed.
Ottawa currently has several red light cameras installed downtown including the intersection of Bronson and Slater, but no photo radar systems in place. Residents in the area where the technology will be potentially installed support the move. The intersection has currently added an advanced cross-walk for pedestrians who say some drivers still ignore traffic signs and signals.
Ottawa already has several downtown red light cameras as they push for photo radar in Little Italy along Booth and Gladstone where residents have been complaining about speeds and aggressive drivers in school zones @ctvottawa pic.twitter.com/elYP8LFnH4— Mike Arsalides (@MArsalidesCTV) October 4, 2019
“There's always people trying to burn the light,” said Little Italy resident Kanata Conroy.
“Photo radar is a good start but I think we need to rethink how cars work in this city and we need to reduce speeds across the board especially in residential neighbourhoods,” said father Josh Gladstone.
The MTO said photo radar could become a reality in the city of Ottawa by the end of the year.