Changes will start in April 2022 to enhance accountability and transparency, ensuring that photo radar technology is used primarily for traffic safety, not for revenue.

“We are taking action to tighten up the rules around photo radar. These changes respond to public concerns requesting the elimination of  ‘fishing holes’ or speed traps while maintaining high levels of safety standards. Municipalities will be required to collect and provide data to support current and future site selection for photo radar.  This is all about enhancing safety on our roads.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation

“Photo radar should only be used for traffic safety – not as a cash cow to squeeze extra money from Albertans. Our government has worked with police services and municipalities to implement changes that will ensure photo radar technology is used only to ensure our roads remain safe.”

Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

Changes coming into effect in 2022 that will help everyday Albertans include:

  • restrictions on photo radar use in transition zones and on residential roads with less than 50 km/h speed limits
    • restrictions do not apply to school, playground or construction zones
  • eliminating double ticketing within five minutes
  • mandating all photo radar enforcement vehicles be clearly visible
  • requiring rationale and data for sites to justify the use of photo radar

Alberta Transportation and Alberta Justice and Solicitor General will work directly with municipalities and law enforcement agencies on new requirements. Municipalities have approximately one year to enact these changes, including those that have budgetary implications. The freeze on automated traffic enforcement instituted Dec. 1, 2019, will be extended until Dec. 1, 2022, to allow municipalities to implement the new guidelines.

“As rural municipalities manage significant road networks, the need for sound data to support optimal site location and use of automated traffic enforcement is essential. The Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) supports efforts to enhance traffic safety on Alberta’s roadways to protect Albertans.”

Paul McLauchlin, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, and reeve of Ponoka County

“IBC applauds the government’s decision to maintain automated traffic enforcement systems. This will help reduce the number of accidents on our roadways and prevent the devastating impact these have on drivers and their families. By reducing the frequency and financial costs of collisions, traffic safety measures like ATEs can also help improve the affordability of insurance over the long term.”

Aaron Sutherland, vice-president, Western & Pacific region, Insurance Bureau of Canada

“AMA supports the government’s new policy direction, as it will ensure photo radar’s use is transparent, informed by data and strictly about improving traffic safety, not generating revenue. Improving traffic safety in our communities is something we can all agree on and, when used properly, photo radar can help in this goal.”

Jeff Kasbrick, vice-president of advocacy & operations, Alberta Motor Association

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a plan to breathe new life into Alberta’s economy and create new opportunities for every Albertan. It’s a plan to build, to diversify and to create jobs.

Quick facts

  • In November 2019, following an engagement with stakeholders, a temporary freeze on new and expanded photo radar was announced. The freeze prohibits municipalities from:
    • installing new photo radar equipment
    • upgrading existing photo radar devices
    • adding new photo radar locations
  • The freeze will be extended until Dec. 1, 2022.
  • The engagement included an online survey and an in-person workshop that was open to the municipalities and police agencies that were using photo radar in 2019.
  • ATE generated $203 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which includes the surcharge for the Victim’s of Crime Safety Fund.
  • Municipalities retain the right to employ conventional speed enforcement throughout their boundaries.
  • Alberta Transportation’s role is to set traffic laws and support the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General in establishing appropriate fines and enforcing the laws to improve Alberta’s transportation safety.
  • Twenty-six municipalities in Alberta use photo radar.
  • Photo radar was introduced in Alberta in 1987.