9/27/2007Canada: Red Light Cameras, Heavy Ticketing Fail to Reduce Fatalities
Despite red light cameras and speeding ticket blitzes, fatal collisions are nearing
Zero-tolerance speeding ticket enforcement efforts and the installation of red light cameras in Ottawa, Canada have failed to reduce the number of fatal road accidents. The latest Ottawa Police Service figures show that this year could have the highest casualty rate in nearly a decade. Already, 29 have died in 2007 with the number likely to exceed the 2003 high of 36 deaths by year's end.
"We're at more enforcement now, we have more collisions," Ottawa Police Staff Sergeant Rick Lavigne told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "That's going the wrong way. So what is the answer?"
Right now, the city appears to be going ahead with plans for more enforcement. Ottawa Police Service will set up another speeding ticket blitz next month, while local officials plan to boost the number of intersections with red light cameras to eighteen. Officials also want to include a "speed on green" feature that will allow existing intersection cameras to also issue speeding citations.
Ottawa began using red light cameras in November 2000. By 2004, just two of the automated ticketing machines had raised $1,440,549 in revenue -- not counting $375,000 lost while camera workers went on strike in 2002.