OK, so another obscure old song lyric reference (Peter Paul and Mary).
But La Belle Province is about to embark on a “trial” of photo radar.
Starting May 19, fifteen mobile and static installations will go into effect. For the first three months, only warnings will be issued. For the next eighteen months of the ‘pilot project’, violators will get fines, but no demerit points.
Um, what is it about Quebec that it can’t learn from other provinces?
Maybe I’d best not go there…
But Ontario did this trial back in the early 1990s, and proved all that needed proving.
First: photo radar did not prove to save lives. In the four month “test period” in Ontario, traffic deaths in the Ontario Provincial Police district where it was most commonly deployed went UP by over 200 percent.
Admittedly, that’s only a single data point. But it hardly supports the thesis.
Second: due to unintelligible plates and various other processing issues, my understanding is that photo radar did not even prove to be very effective as a revenue generator.
Quebec’s Minister of Transport Julie Boulet said that their program is not in fact a tax grab.
Sure she did.
She said the revenue will go to help the victims of road crashes.
Sure it will.
What IS sure is that with the piles of snow that will be on Quebec rear bumpers for months of the year, and with their plates taking even more environmental damage than ours do, what are the chances of Quebec having more success with this plan than Ontario did?
I’ll tell you – zero.
At least for speed limit enforcement, which as regular readers know is pretty much always totally irrelevant to safety, at least on our highways.
But Quebec also plans to use photo radar to catch red-light runners.
Now, I am not aware of what stats are available to support or contradict this application of the technology.
But in general, when it comes to red-light runners, I say toss ‘em all in the slammer.