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Photo radar has nothing to do with fairness

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  |  Posted: Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 06:00 am

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My husband and I are residents of St. Albert – retired from B.C. and came to live here five years ago this summer. In our time in Alberta, we have both been the recipients of photo radar fines and have come to know this as a way of life in St. Albert/Edmonton.

I quite enjoyed your article (Photo radar getting stickier? March 15 Gazette) – a real breath of fresh air! To us, photo radar does not consider any element of human error to speak of. This in itself is a violation to the public, as far as I'm concerned.

What I disagree with specifically is fines that are given within 10 to 15 kilometres per hour over the speed limit when circumstances present no danger to other vehicles on the road or to the driver.

I completely agree with caution being exercised in accident-prone areas as well as pedestrian crossings – it makes good sense to use preventative measures to avoid future incidents. I’m concerned that there is no grace/forgiveness clause to speak of under any circumstances.

Why doesn't a person's driving record have some measure of influence in a traffic violation? Why is it not possible to excuse an occasional oversight when there is no observable risk factors present?

Gerry Shimko's analogies of a person expecting to be excused by asking allowances to speed are not logical. I would like to ask him if he went to write a driver's exam, would the authorities expect a perfect score? This is the truth and the heart of the matter.

I have spoken to so many people who just resign themselves to paying the fines because there is either complete inconvenience to stand up to the law, or no point in disputing anything because there are few if any exceptions made to the rules.

This business about wanting people to “be successful” where violations are concerned is nothing more than a justification for being fair – and it couldn't be farther from the truth. The truth of the matter here, is the photo radar system is an easy way to support the system without manpower.

Fairness, in my mind, takes into consideration human error. There is no allowance for this in the present system that I am aware of. I feel that if someone has a good driving record, and hasn't had multiple speeding tickets as a rule, there should be some way of recognizing and reinforcing a good driving record. I really don't think anyone on the ticketing end of things wants to complicate the black and white methods that are already in place, because it's too easy and it's too lucrative.

Perhaps the powers that be might consider that when the public shows up to dispute a traffic violation, it has more to do with the point blank guilty treatment where speeding violations are concerned. Making some kind of allowance for people who aren't intentionally speeding could make a huge difference here.

As if it isn't enough that the traffic courts in Edmonton force people to make three appearances before they are permitted to voice their views about a given situation. It's deplorable to treat people this way!

There have been documentaries on TV making it very apparent that the vast majority of traffic courts across Canada meet speeding quotas to support themselves. Why are the courts and the police force so reluctant to admit this?

The answer is pretty obvious. Your diligence in research to show that things in Scottsdale, Ariz. work just fine with a forgiveness factor is very pertinent to this issue. This doesn't mean the laws in Arizona are slack or lacking in any respect – most people are aware of “Tent City” where everyone is dressed in pink.

I am willing to contribute my opinions in any way I can to voice my opposition in this matter. What about a petition? I would certainly be willing to involve myself in this kind of a worthwhile venture! Where does a person begin?

J. Dyck, St. Albert


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