Council asks for budget report on red light cameras

Windsor city council agreed to move forward with continuing to explore the implementation of red lights and photo radar at intersections throughout the city. 

Ward 2 Coun. Fabio Costante got the ball rolling with a request to administration earlier this February

Ward 2 Coun. Fabio Costante says he's happy to see that council is working to calm traffic in the city. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Windsor City Council agreed to move forward with continuing to explore the implementation of red lights and photo radar at intersections throughout the city. 

Councillors received a report from administration on the matter at Monday evening's meeting, ultimately asking the city to provide an additional report on cost options related to red light cameras, as well as recommendations for where they should be located and how many should be implemented.

The upcoming report will be taken into consideration during 2020 budget deliberations. 

"I am proud that we're moving this forward," said Ward 2 Coun. Fabio Costante, who got the ball rolling on red light cameras by asking for an report earlier this February.

"I think every councillor is dealing with speed-calming in their ward," he added. 

"It was certainly something that I dealt with during the campaign and as a councillor, and so I explored this possibility because other municipalities are doing it and looking at ways ... to kind of change behaviour."

The report from administration received by council on Monday estimated that the cost per camera would range from $80,000 to $90,000. 

"Every indicator that I've seen, every municipality that's installed these cameras, they've either cost-recovered or have made money off of them," Costante said, adding that making money off of the cameras is not the primary intent of either council or the city.

"But as a matter of cost, that doesn't really bother me based on the evidence that I've seen. It's more about how people feel comfortable with these cameras, it's about consulting the community about these cameras. And then this whole piece on rear-end collisions and weighing that versus T-boning collisions and more fatal collisions."

The report received by council indicated that studies showed rear-end collisions increase with the implementation of red light cameras, but angle collisions are reduced. 

Costante added that there was some discussion at Monday's council meeting around whether or not the city would need an amendment through the Ministry of Transportation in order to move ahead with the cameras, but he said that that should be discerned in the next report. 

"I know it's a bit of a contentious issue in the community, but at the end of the day, it's really about speed-calming and making our streets safer," Costante said. 

He wasn't alone in his call for action. 

Other councillors, including Ward 4 Coun. Chris Holt and Ward 10 Coun. Jim Morrison, also expressed the need for traffic-calming tools.

"I just came back from Calgary, that has both photo radar and red light cameras, and I could certainly perceive a very big difference in the speed," said Morrison. 

The goal is to have the report completed and ready to be discussed around budget time 2020. 


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