The two-year pilot project for photo radar in Saskatchewan is nearly finished, but it’ll be sticking around for a little while longer while the provincial government decides whether the program will become permanent.
The program first launched in mid-November 2014 in Moose Jaw at Highway 1 and 9th Avenue. In December that year, cameras came online in Regina, Saskatoon, Martensville and near White City on the Trans-Canada Highway. Shortly after, cameras went up in select school zones in Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.
A warning period followed for drivers and by March 2015 the grace period was over and tickets began being issued. March 8, 2017, will mark two years since that time, although SGI confirmed the program will remain in place while a decision is made on whether the province keeps the cameras or abandons them.
A total of $8.4 million was raised after about the first full year of the pilot, with $2 million of that going to municipalities.
The government has said previously the intent of the program is to calm traffic and make roads safer, as the province looks for a trend downward in speed and crashes.
This, even though stats from SGI showed, even before the cameras went in, the percentage of vehicles in violation was in many cases below one per cent at the locations where radar is currently in place.
Several callers gave their thoughts on the pilot program to Gormley Wednesday morning and many were divided.
Some believe the cameras should stay, especially in school zones, saying roads are indeed safer and drivers are getting the message to slow down.
Others said radar hasn’t led to safer roads, as crashes, sometimes deadly, are still happening on Ring Road and Circle Drive. Some callers think speeding isn’t the issue but instead distracted driving.