Photo radar could soon be coming to a school zone near you, and lower speed limits in many parts Ottawa. The Ontario government is bringing in legislation that will give cities more power to combat speed on our streets. Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement this morning at a school in Ottawa, stressing that this isn’t about a tax grab; it’s about saving lives.
Speed is the number one complaint in most cities, even among kids.
“One day, I was going to school and there was a crossing guard,” explains one Grade 5 student at Elmdale Public School, “and a guy went beside me and I nearly got hit by the guy.”
Ontario’s Premier wants to slow drivers down. Kathleen Wynne was at Elmdale school this morning, walking with students as they entered school, then delivering message, that within two weeks, she will introduce legislation to allow photo radar in school zones and in community safety zones such as parks and seniors’ homes.
“I just want to make this clear,” Wynne told reporters at the school this morning, “we are doing this because we know it will make it safer for kids as a result of these decisions and because the municipalities have asked us.”
Ontario used to have photo radar until Mike Harris’ government cancelled it. Ottawa’s Mayor, who had worried they’d be a seen as a cash grab says in targeted areas like school zones, they’ll work.
“We aren’t only municipality that’s asked for this,” Watson said after the announcement, “We passed a resolution two weeks ago (with respect to this). I’ve talked to other mayors and they don’t see this as tax grab but as way to control speeding.”
Wynne’s legislation would also allow cities to reduce non-posted speed limits in certain neighborhoods to 40 kilometres an hour (it is now 50) and bring in red light cameras easier and faster.
“This is about saving lives, reducing injuries, reducing collisions and changing driver behaviors,” Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said.
Sergeant Mark Gatien is with the Ottawa Police Traffic Enforcement Unit, “We can’t be everywhere but if we can set up these instruments from time to time, it will help a lot and get people to slow down.”
The children attending Wynne’s announcement certainly hope so.
“I think it can stop them (the drivers) and then we will be able to get to school safely,” one student said.
The money generated through photo radar and red light tickets will go back to the municipalities. As for when we will see these, the bill still needs to be introduced and passed.