A Breakdown on Photo Radar


Robert Thomas

Introduced in December 2014 Photo Speed Enforcement (PSE), or photo radar, was borne out of a 2013 all party special committee on traffic safety.

After a three month period of issuing warning tickets to all offenders, the program then began issuing tickets to them.

Photo radar fines are assigned to the registered owner of the vehicle and are the same fine you would pay if you were caught speeding by an actual officer. However, the one difference is that the registered owner of the vehicle does not receive demerit points or other penalties would receive.

Moose Jaw has three locations where the sites are set up. The sites are 9th Avenue NW and the Trans Canada Highway, William Grayson School and Palliser Heights School. These locations were not randomly selected but were done in consultation with Moose Jaw Police Services (MJPS) and based upon a criteria of areas with high speeds, crash and fatality data.

The main emphasis was to reduce speeding and emphazise the dangers of excessive speed in the locations where the cameras were set up.

“The results of the PSE pilot show that the number of speeding drivers has gone down in both high speed locations and school zones, resulting in fewer collisions and injuries,” the report on the pilot program found.

The pilot program found that PSE resulted in 28 fewer collisions resulting in fatalities per year in the highly marked and visible locations. This meant 40 less injuries per year. The PSE pilot program reached its objective of less than one percent of drivers exceeding the speed limit in its high speed locations, the report concluded.

The report also stated that the 9th Ave NW and Trans Canada location had a monthly average of 2.08 percent of drivers speeding through the site compared to one percent elsewhere.

It also needs to be noted at the end of the March 2018 trial period that monthly speeding infractions at the Moose Jaw high speed location had achieved the one percent goal.

The total financial take from the PSE program was $10,436,935 with expenses of $5,418,163 leaving an actual net revenue gain of $5,018,772. In Moose Jaw the PSE resulted in $2,358,359 with expenses of $1,263,167 or a net revenue gain of $1,085,192.

In Moose Jaw a total of $450,000 was reinvested in law enforcement operations and to acquire traffic safety controls. The report stated net revenues at municipal actions go to the local municipalities where they were to be reinvested in traffic safety initiatives.

In a recent verbal report to Moose Jaw City Council, regarding the Saskatchewan City Mayors Conference, Mayor Frasier Tolmie stated the changing formula for distributing photo radar funding needed to be further discussed at budget time.