New speed-on-green camera up and running
Second remote unit expected in the fall
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 06:00 am
The city has added another weapon in its arsenal to catch red-light runners and drivers who speed through intersections, but only those travelling in one direction.
St. Albert announced this week it had installed a red-light/speed-on-green camera at the intersection of St. Albert Trail and Boudreau Road/Giroux Road. Two of the cameras have been purchased at a cost of $50,000 each.
But because of work widening St. Albert Trail between Villeneuve Road and Giroux, only the camera facing northbound has been installed. The southbound-facing camera won’t be set up until about October.
“After talking to engineering and the experts, the decision was made to install on the north and the south lane is on hold,” said peace officer program supervisor Stu Fraser.
Transportation co-ordinator Dean Schick said the city didn’t want to run the risk of installing the camera, then ripping it out.
“We don’t want to put in infrastructure and have construction going on,” Schick said. “After the work is done, there will be a review of what the impact will be for placement.”
When both cameras are installed, it will bring to three the number of intersections in St. Albert that feature red-light/speed-on-green cameras. Cameras have been put in place at the intersections of St. Albert Trail and Hebert Road/Gervais Road, and St. Albert Trail and Bellerose Drive/McKenney Avenue.
The cost of the cameras is covered by a city policy mandating 50 per cent of all speed-on-green revenue be used for traffic safety initiatives.
“It’s among one of the most collision-prone intersections in the city of St. Albert and specialists in engineering have pretty well maximized any engineering changes they could introduce to the road alignment,” Fraser said, explaining why the third camera was added at the trail/Boudreau/Giroux intersection.
Schick concurred the intersection has seen some of the most serious types of accidents between 2006 and 2010. During that five-year span, there were 54 injury collisions and one fatality. It saw the second most collisions involving left-hand turns and the most collisions when drivers disobeyed traffic signals.
“Those kinds of accidents are the worst angle collisions because they occur at the weakest point of the car, the side,” Schick said.
The city also hopes to take possession by late fall of its second portable camera unit, but this one differs from the design of the first. After learning this winter the first unit did not perform well during periods of heavy snowfall, it is instead negotiating the purchase of a DragonCam, a remote unit operated from a tablet that uses a laser similar to law enforcement for recording speed.
“So when we get bad weather and the [remote camera] can’t operate effectively, we’ll use the Dragon from that vehicle.”
Fraser would not disclose the cost of the unit.