A political hot potato from Ontario’s past is back and it’s front and centre.
Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday morning that municipalities in the province could soon resurrect photo radar in some areas.
Automated speed enforcement technology, commonly known as photo radar, can snap pictures of licence plates of vehicles it detects are speeding. The legislation would allow the cameras to be installed on municipal roads as well as in school and community safety zones.
The proposed bill would also allow communities create red light camera programming more easily and establish areas with reduced speed limits.
During Tuesday’s discussion, Wynne said too many people have been injured or killed by speeding drivers.
Photo radar was originally introduced in Ontario back in the 1990s by the NDP government, but it was axed by Premier Mike Harris and his Progressive Conservatives after they came to power in the 1995 election after campaigning on the issue.
The City of London finalized plans in October to reduce speed limits on residential streets from 50 km/h to 40 km/h over the next two years in a bid to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and to encourage more active lifestyles.
The City says a typical school zone starts 150 m before a school property and ends 150 m after a school property.
“Vehicle speed and pedestrian safety are some of the top concerns I hear from the community,” Ward 10 Councillor Virginia Ridley in a statement last month when the City announced its plan. Ridley spearheaded the effort to reduce speed limits in London’s school zones.
“By decreasing the speed around school zones we are increasing the safety for everyone,” she noted.
Implementation of the speed changes has already begun with new signs installed last month near Jean Vanier Catholic School, Westmount P.S., and Saunders S.S.