Confederation Building

(CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is not ready to give St. John's the power to use photo radar to keep drivers from speeding, on grounds that such a system would be expensive to set up. 

Liberal MHA Tom Osborne raised the issue in the house of assembly on Tuesday, when he asked if the government would support the city with photo radar as a traffic calming measure. 

"Alberta has had it in place for 20 years, Mr Speaker. I do not understand why the minister feels there would be challenges to this," said Osborne.

"It's been proven in other areas. It's been challenged," Osborne said. "It's been effective. It's an effective way of calming traffic. When will this province do what other provinces have done and implement photo radar for the cities who require it?"

Justice Minister Darin King said government is willing to work with municipalities.

"My colleague, the minister of Municipal Affairs, said yesterday [Monday] that we are always open to a collaborative relationship, trying to move forward and making decisions that benefit municipalities, said King.

"The issue that is referenced here, I am not aware of it at this point in time but I am certainly prepared to have a look at it, if it is something that the city wants to pursue."

'Alberta has had it in place for 20 years, Mr. Speaker. I do not understand why the minister feels there would be challenges to this'- Liberal MHA Tom Osborne 

Osborne said he had met with Paul Davis, the former minister of Service NL and minister of the Department of Transportation and Works about three months ago and brought the issue to his attention.  

Davis said government is monitoring the technology as it evolves, looking for ways to slow down drivers. 

"Contrary to what he [Osborne] believes, it actually requires more resources to implement these types of technologies," Davis said.

"They can be labour intensive, they can be very costly as well and you have to weigh that with the benefits that provide the opportunity from them," Davis said. "We are investing significantly in policing services in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are investing significantly in the RNC and the RCMP to provide traffic safety throughout the province. I tell you, I, for one, believe they are doing a great job."