Hamilton will spend $16,000 to count out-of-town trucks on the Red Hill Valley and Lincoln Alexander parkways — with an eye on using the data to make it less congested.
The city will install four cameras that automatically record licence plates. Using a program, the city will trace the plates and the time the trucks entered and left the highways.
Once the city has the data, it will brainstorm ways to ease congestion and ask the province for more money to maintain roads.
The province maintains 400 series highways, but not the local highways. If out-of-town trucks are using the roads in large number, the province should help pay, said Sam Merulla, Ward 4 councillor.
"It is a local road," Merulla said. "That was the purpose of developing the road.
"What's happened is we have thousands of trucks that are not local and using it as a shortcut. We're not in a position to be paying for provincial highways."
Merulla has even suggested setting up tolls for out-of-town trucks.
The highways are a growing issue in Hamilton as speed and volume have led to numerous collisions.
The cameras will be at Highway 403 at Sunnyridge, the QEW at Fifty Road, the Red Hill Valley Parkway at Barton and the Lincoln Alexander Parkway at Golf Links Road.
City council will vote whether to ratify the decision on Wednesday.