Automated Traffic Enforcement Technology, commonly known as photo radar, should only be used to make our roads safer — not generate revenue.
That’s why we’re implementing new photo radar guidelines (PDF, 560 KB) that focus on improving traffic safety, increasing transparency and enhancing photo radar data collection. These will help municipalities implement immediate changes to enhance clarity, improve photo radar site locations and revenue streams.
These guidelines are based on 4 guiding principles:
- Transportation safety, not revenue generation, must be the objective of Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) programs in the province.
- Police services, in collaboration with municipalities, are responsible to ensure ATE programs are used to improve traffic safety outcomes.
- Ongoing evaluation of ATE programs will ensure they improve traffic safety outcomes.
- Public transparency is paramount for the success of photo radar programs.
The Government of Alberta will work with police services and municipalities to implement several changes over the next year, including:
- Banning photo radar use in transition zones: Photo radar will not be allowed in the area immediately adjacent to a speed limit sign, where the speed limits changes from a higher speed to a lower speed, or vice versa.
- Banning photo radar use on high-speed multi-lane corridors: Photo radar will not be allowed on a high-speed multi-lane highway, unless there is a documented traffic safety issue.
- Public awareness and transparency: Municipalities are required to post all upcoming photo radar locations and update the information monthly
- Definitions: Clarifying terms and directions in the guidelines
- Organizational roles and responsibilities: better defined roles and responsibilities for municipalities and police services.
- Data collection: Improved collection and reporting of available data.
We will continue to work with municipalities to look at implementing future changes, including:
- Restrictions to clarify operations and to further enhance traffic safety outcomes.
- Site selection using data to better focus on traffic safety.
- Enhanced data collection to justify operations and evaluation consistently.
- Enhanced traffic safety plans to directly link photo radar to traffic safety outcomes.
Photo radar review
In 2018, an independent review (PDF, 3 MB) was done to evaluate how photo radar was being used in Alberta.
The review found that:
- photo radar does make a small contribution to traffic safety in the province, but is not being used in a way to maximize traffic safety
- Alberta saw a reduction in collisions overall, over a 10-year period - of that, photo radar was responsible for:
- 1.4% reduction in traffic collision rates
- 5.3% reduction in the proportion of fatal collisions
- municipalities wanted the guidelines to be updated to provide more clarity for photo radar operations
- provincial guidelines could be used more effectively to maximize traffic safety outcomes
Photo radar programs in Alberta
The 27 municipalities in Alberta that use photo radar will be required to post specific information about how their photo radar programs are enforced.
Currently, these municipalities have information available about their photo radar programs. We will update as municipalities add their program information.