Photo radar in Alberta

Guidelines to ensure photo radar is used effectively to improve traffic safety.

Changes to photo radar usage

Read Protecting drivers from photo radar fishing holes.


Automated Traffic Enforcement Technology, commonly known as photo radar, is intended to be used to make our roads safer. Photo radar includes mobile devices and fixed, intersection safety devices.

Changes to photo radar usage

Alberta’s government is protecting drivers from photo radar ‘fishing holes’ – areas where photo radar is focused on revenue generation rather than traffic safety. 

As a first step, all photo radar sites will be banned from ring roads in both Calgary and Edmonton, starting on December 1, 2023. Those ring road units can be repositioned to school, playground and construction zones where they can be used to improve safety and protect those in vulnerable situations.

We will engage with municipalities and law enforcement over the next year to get rid of ‘fishing holes’ and make sure that photo radar is focused on safety rather than revenue generation.

  • January 2022

    • Municipalities started collecting data to comply with new quarterly data submission requirements, including submitting data on contraventions, collisions, fatalities and associated reported injuries.
  • April 2022

    • Adopted a new definition of transition zones that includes areas that have rapid changes in speed, such as highway on and off ramps and highway exits.
    • Prohibited photo radar on residential streets with speeds less than 50 km/h, unless they are school and playground zones or construction zones.
    • Restricted the issuing of additional ticket(s) if the notices were received within 5 minutes of each other – only the most serious infraction will be issued a notice.
    • Started submitting Automated Traffic Enforcement Quarterly Data to the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Services within one month after the respective quarter.
  • June 2022

    • Removed sites that use public concern or use conventional enforcement criteria as rationale for the site. Public concern and conventional enforcement are no longer authorized site selection criteria.
    • Restricted use of ATE on construction sites to only when at least one worker is present.
    • Restricted the use of ATE in school zones when school is in session, and the speed restriction is in effect, as per local municipal bylaws.
  • December 2022

    • Have reassessed all existing ATE locations, using the new location selection criteria including requiring the rationale and data to be documented on a new standardized location selection form.
    • Ensured all mobile photo radar vehicles are visible and to be 'wrapped' or have signage, so Albertans know when driving if the mobile location is active for automated enforcement.
    • Advertised new photo radar sites online and through social media to increase public awareness about photo radar location.
  • May 1, 2023

    Complete an annual report for the public indicating the performance of the ATE program by May 1, of each year, which at a minimum shall include:

    • Transportation safety outcomes
    • ATE performance indicators
    • ATE performance targets
    • data related to the performance indicators for the year as per the revised Photo Radar Guideline

Cap on new photo radar equipment

Alberta’s government wants to make sure that photo radar technology is used for traffic safety purposes and not to generate revenue. The cap on any new photo radar equipment or programs, or new photo radar locations will be extended until the one-year consultation with municipalities is complete on Dec. 1, 2024.

Since December 1, 2019, municipalities and police services cannot:

  • install new photo radar equipment
  • upgrade existing photo radar devices
  • add new photo radar locations

Police services can continue using conventional enforcement and existing photo radar equipment and locations to ensure safety.

Municipalities using photo radar

The 26 municipalities using photo radar must post specific information about how they enforce their photo radar programs.

The following municipalities have information available about their photo radar programs:

Photo radar guidelines

The Automated Traffic Enforcement Guideline governs how municipalities and law enforcement agencies employ photo radar in Alberta.

The guideline is based on 4 guiding principles:

  1. Transportation safety, not revenue generation, must be the objective of Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) programs in the province.
  2. Police services, in collaboration with municipalities, are responsible to ensure ATE programs are used to improve traffic safety outcomes.
  3. Ongoing evaluation of ATE programs will ensure they improve traffic safety outcomes.
  4. Public transparency is paramount for the success of photo radar programs.