Photo radar revenue down by $3 million as Edmonton drivers get the message

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Photo radar revenue down by $3 million as Edmonton drivers get the message

The City of Edmonton is facing a $3-million deficit in revenue from photo radar tickets this year thanks to drivers slowing down on the road.

Nearly $12 million from photo radar tickets was expected by the end of 2017, but only $9 million will be coming in, city council heard Tuesday.

Todd Burge, the city's chief financial officer, said people are "speeding slower" so the infraction amounts aren't as high as anticipated.

That means traffic safety programs funded by photo radar revenues could be scaled back.

The city was counting on higher ticket revenue and has already spent just over $9 million of the photo-radar money. With less money coming in, the city's photo-radar reserve fund will be at a deficit of $200,000 by the end of 2018.

Electronic signs slowing drivers

Gerry Shimko, executive director of the city's Office of Traffic Safety, said electronic signs posting vehicle speeds have caused drivers to drop their speeds from on average six to 12 kilometres per hour.

Some councillors called it a "good news story," saying less revenue from photo radar means the roads are safer.

"Ideally that reserve should come down to zero and people wouldn't be speeding anymore," said Coun. Ben Henderson.

The city recently created an updated weekly photo radar list where Edmontonians can view where cameras will be placed.

Mayor Don Iveson said the posted photo radar locations, tied in with education and changes to the roads to deter people from speeding, could all be reasons behind why drivers are easing up on the accelerator.

"If those things are having an effect on helping people slow down, then they're getting the message and the system is working," Iveson said.