While Calgary police support unmanned speed cameras on Deerfoot Trail because speed is cited as a major cause of accidents, less than one per cent of collisions on the roadway resulted in speeding tickets last year.

According to Calgary police statistics, there were 2,614 collisions on Deerfoot Trail in 2008 and 30 tickets were given for unreasonable speed. The majority of the 356 issued tickets were for following too closely and driving without due care and attention.

Charlie Pester, former police officer and Pointts ticket fighter, said the statistics show speed isn’t the number 1 cause of accidents, contrary to what the Calgary police say.

“Their numbers support the fact this is just a cash grab. Speeding is not the number 1 cause of accidents; I mean 30 tickets out of 2,600 accidents, come on,” Pester said. “This will work for creating revenue but that’s about it, it won’t stop collisions from happening.”

Pester said staffed speed traps work better and he believes unmanned cameras will just cause a “panic effect.”

“People will suddenly slow down or slam on the brakes to avoid a ticket, and just resume speed afterwards. People will learn what the cameras look like and where they are situated,” Pester added.

But traffic Staff. Sgt Brett Marklund said the stats can be misconstrued because not all of the accidents were actually on Deerfoot and many of them were on the exit ramps.

“Bottom line is the only people who call this a cash cow are the ones who are speeding. I call it a user fee and if you don’t speed, you don’t pay,” Marklund said.

Marklund said he supports the cameras on Deerfoot because he believes they would help reduce collisions on the roadway.

“But right now there is no legislation for it so it’s not going to happen anytime soon,” he added.

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