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'Speed-on-green' initiative debuts tomorrow

Smile, you’re on speed-on-green camera.

Smile, you’re on speed-on-green camera.

Cops will begin mailing tickets April 1 to lead-footed drivers who burn rubber through select intersections as the controversial speed-on-green camera initiative makes its official debut.

Traffic unit Staff Sgt. Brett Marklund said the focus of the program, which piggybacks on existing red-light cameras, is to monitor troublesome intersections and reduce speed and collisions.

“The whole purpose of this program is to enhance traffic safety and get people to make safe decisions to prevent collisions,” he said.

“In my perfect world we’re out of work.”

Throughout March, police issued warnings to speeders who motored through a pair of monitored intersections, dishing out 700 letters that, starting April 1, will become a traffic ticket.

The average speed for those who received warnings was 24 km/h above the posted speed limit, which would have landed a fine of about $130.

While there are 44 red light cameras throughout the city that could be used to snap pictures of speeding, Marklund said the program will launch with only three to five and ideally be up to 10 by the end of the year.

“If we can take graduated steps that convince people to change their driving habits so that the roads are safer, that’s our preference,” he said.

Controversy has swirled around the use of the cameras to nail speeders with Alberta Transport Minister Luke Ouellette balking at the notion of charging some offenders with reckless driving.

Marklund said police would have that tool available but it would only be used in rare circumstances where the pictures could be used as evidence.

He noted in most cases, even if a motorist speeds through a red light, only one ticket will be issued.

Questions have also been raised about a spike in rear-end collisions from other cities that have implemented intersection cameras but Marklund said so far any crashes associated with red-light cameras have been a “blip.”

 
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