Don't mind the title of the post. I'm not at my best today.
I have no idea where Wise Up Winnipeg is getting the money for their upcoming advertising blitz, but best of luck to them. I have never been nailed running a red light, but I have been caught "speeding" a couple of times. I put speeding in quotes, because it depends on your definition of speeding: driving faster than the posted limit -- or driving an unsafe speed.
What am I talking about? Some of the cameras are set up on stretches of road with speed limits that are too low. This is not my opinion. This is fact, based on traffic studies and universal traffic standards, documented in a report that was signed by the director of public works and went before council several years ago -- January 13, 2003 to be precise -- and was promptly crapped-upon and thrown in the trash. Luckily before it was thrown in the trash they posted it on the web site and I printed off a copy, though I believe it has since been taken down. I still have my hard copy somewhere though.
What I am getting at is: if you're going to use automated cameras, it should be done within the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law. The laws within the highway traffic act exist to make the streets safer. If you ticket people who are driving a safe speed, you do not do justice to that cause. You make people cynical and pissed off. Worse, if you actually risk increased accidents by having yellow lights artificially low, as Wise Up Winnipeg is suggesting, then you are actually working against what the laws are trying to achieve. You are compromising safety for revenue.
By ignoring recommendations by professional traffic analysts to increase speed limits, and by ignoring ITE recommendations as the WUW folks allege, the city is negligent in it's responsibility to make the roads as safe and efficient as possible, and is abusive in it's use of red light cameras. Of course, if they weren't negligent and abusive they probably wouldn't make any money.
Our goal is simple—to reduce collisions and injuries by reducing red-light running and excessive speeding. -link-Wait ... where did I put that thing ... Oh, here it is!
So, good luck to W.U.W.. Maybe you can make it an election issue. From the comment count on the Free Press web site, it certainly seems to have some interest.
Speaking of cameras ... and bike paths ... the Multi-Use Trail along Archibald St. is coming along nicely, except for the red light camera sticking right up in the middle of it. This is near the intersection with Elizabeth Rd, where the path is quite narrow because of the boundary with the St.Boniface golf course. I was wondering what they were going to do with that when they started working on the path. The answer: nothing, apparently. I guess the revenues from that camera -- a piddly 111 offences YTD -- are so important as to necessitate turning the multi-use trail into a dangerous obstacle course. Maybe they'll stick a piece of reflective tape on it or something. Ya, that oughtta do the trick.