News / Ottawa

Ottawa photo radar petition picking up speed

About 125 people have signed a petition in support of photo radar, which Coun. Riley Brockington wants to use to nab excessive speeders.

Coun. Riley Brockington will move to ask the province to allow Ottawa to use photo radar on March 23.

Metro file

Coun. Riley Brockington will move to ask the province to allow Ottawa to use photo radar on March 23.

A petition is picking up speed in support of photo radar.

So far about 125 people have signed the resident-led online petition in support of Coun. Riley Brockington’s proposal to ask the province for permission to to catch excessive speeders using photo radar.

Council will debate the issue March 23. Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, who chairs the Ottawa Police board, is seconding his motion.

If Brockington’s motion passes, it doesn’t necessarily mean photo radar will show up on Ottawa streets – not right away, anyway - but it would at least give the city the power to decide, said resident Kevin O’Donnell.

He launched the petition at with fellow community advocate Michael Powell last Thursday.

“The motion is asking, ‘Do you want more tools in your toolkit, or do you want to tell residents there’s nothing we can do and shrug your shoulders?’” O’Donnell said.

He said having the option of photo radar would fill enforcement gaps the Ottawa police can’t possibly afford to address.

It might also reduce wasted money on politically-motivated traffic calming measures, he said, like artificially reducing limits on high speed roads against the advice of staff.

Provincial leaders, including transportation minister Steven Del Duca, have said they’re hesitant to allow photo radar back on Ontario streets for the first time since 1995, when the Conservative government scrapped the program a year after the NDP put it in place.

Those against photo radar say its a cash grab, and that speeding is not the root cause of collisions the way politicians - and photo radar companies - make out.

So far Kitchissippi and Alta Vista wards have the most signatures on the petition.

This month, the police service’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) will crack down on speeders.

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