The number of speeding tickets issued by the City of Edmonton to motorists driving less than five kilometres per hour over the speed limit is too sensitive for councillors to discuss in public, says a city report.
The report covers more than a dozen questions from councillors Amarjeet Sohi, Dave Loken and Mike Oshry in regards to the photo radar traffic enforcement, ranging from its effectiveness in reducing collisions to the revenue generated from ticketing.
- Anti-photo radar petition shows no signs of slowing down
- Mayor Don Iveson strikes back at photo radar critics
- Photo radar cash could be used for community programs
However, when it comes to the number of tickets issued to drivers edging over the speed limit, city staff say those details should be discussed by council in private.
“They may involve matters of legal advice and other information subject to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,” the report said.
Mayor Don Iveson understands why city administration wants to hold back some of the information.
“They don't want to counsel people that it's OK to go over the speed limit and releasing certain kinds of information without the right context will look like a license to speed," he said.
But Oshry said he still wants to know the answer.
“Everybody at some point goes a kilometre or two over the speed limit,” he said. “That seems more like a cash grab –which is not what I understand the photo radar to be.”
Sohi also wants to know the answer.
“To me it does not seem unreasonable to share that information with Edmontonians as long as no one is perceiving that information to be as a buffer or discretion in the enforcement.”
Report shows trends in radar ticketing
Iveson said he doesn't believe the city is targeting those driving just over the speed limit.
"I haven't seen a ticket for between one and (five kilometres per hour over) and the tickets that are between six and 10 over — three per cent of the total," he said.
"Almost half of the tickets are for people who're going more than 15 over ... so we still have a significant speeding problem in the city."
The report does suggest photo radar enforcement encourages drivers to slow down, meaning fewer and less severe collisions.
The report also shows photo radar is focused on arterial roads, while most of the complaints concerning speeding comes from residential neighbourhoods, Oshry said.
He’ll raise those issues at a Transportation Committee meeting Thursday, he said.
“For me, the big over-reaching issue on photo radar is to try to figure out what's the point of the program.”