Automated Traffic Enforcement

Background Information

Since the program’s inception in June of 2009, Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) (also known as photo radar) has increased awareness and changed driver behavior:

  • The number of drivers receiving speeding tickets has dropped since the first full year of ATE operations; from 25,105 in 2010 to 8,829 in 2017.

  • On average, the number of local drivers receiving tickets has decreased since inception.  In 2017 only 11% of tickets issued were to residents.

  • Collisions along the Highway 43 have decreased from 1.87 collisions per 1000 vehicles in 2014, to 1.66 collisions per 1000 vehicles in 2017.

  • Collisions at town-controlled key intersections have decreased from a total of 23 collisions in 2009 to 10 collisions in 2017.

Purpose

The ATE program is to facilitate the safe flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic resulting in safer roadways throughout Whitecourt.

Revenue is not the intent of the program as the funds the Town receives are allocated to enhancing crime prevention and education, along with other community projects. Revenue from the ATE program is for supplemental services and purposes and is not used to fund basic Town operations.

Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE)

ATE compliments but does not replace the need for traditional uniformed traffic enforcement.

ATE locations are approved by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police using the following guidelines:

  • High-risk locations are those where the safety of citizens or police officers would be at risk through conventional enforcement methods.

  • High-frequency locations where data indicates motorists are ignoring or breaking traffic laws on an ongoing basis.

  • High-collision locations where data indicates a greater frequency of property damage, injury or fatal collisions.

  • High-pedestrian volume locations where data indicates a high volume of pedestrian traffic.

  • All school and playground zones.

Global Traffic Limited is the ATE contractor for the Town of Whitecourt.

  • Mobile Photo Enforcement Operators are Peace Officers while on-duty.

    • The training and appointment of the Operators is authorized by the Province of Alberta (Justice and Solicitor General).

  • ATE vehicles are permitted to park on boulevards, shoulders and no parking areas under the authority of the Traffic Safety Act. The Town’s preference would be for them not to utilize these areas for parking, but for some locations this is the safest approach.

    • If a citizen has a specific concern with a parking location they are encouraged to contact Community Safety at 780-778-2273 so we can assess the situation.

Several ATE technologies are deployed in the Town of Whitecourt.

  • Global Traffic performs the following mobile photo enforcement:

    • An average of 2,380 hours per year of photo speed enforcement.

    • An average of 50 hours per year of photo stop sign enforcement.

  • The Town also utilizes mobile Intersection Safety Devices (Red Light Cameras) at high collision intersections throughout the Town.

Results

There has been a reduction in the number of collision occurrences following the implementation of Automated Traffic Enforcement in 2009.

  • Injury collision rates have fallen by 15.4% from 2009 levels.

  • Overall Whitecourt collision rates have fallen about 6% from 2009 levels.

Automated Traffic Enforcement captured approximately 9,000 traffic violations in 2017.

  • 89% of the speed violations were committed by non-resident vehicles in 2017. 

  • School and playground zone speeding violations account for 6.7% of all speed violations in 2017.

Fine Revenues

The Town collected $880,000 in fine revenue from ATE in 2017.

How is traffic fine revenue distributed?

  • ATE violations are issued as Provincial Violation Tickets. The Province of Alberta controls what the applicable fines are for each offense as well as the fine disbursement formulas for all collected revenue.

  • From the Town’s collected revenue the Province receives about 36%, the Town receives approximately 32%, and the Contractor receives around 31%. 12.76% of the Province’s revenue is allocated to the Victims of Crime Fund.

The Safe Community Initiative was created in 2010 to ensure all elements of the ATE program focused primarily on community safety initiatives. Annually, 25% of this revenue is contributed to the Future Community Projects reserve. Many community projects and programs that have already been funded by this revenue are:

  • Hospice $300,000

  • GreenTRIP Transit $627,866

  • Victim Services $26,435

  • Block Party Program $3,500

  • COPS Program $3,000

  • Community Enhancement Grant $30,000

  • FCSS Grant Program $50,000

  • Regimental Ball Tickets $4,500

  • Community Policing $85,087

  • Ice Rescue Suits $2,000

  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus $2,500

  • Admin Cost $25,000

  • Swim to Survive $10,000

  • Emergency Defibulators $2,500

  • Networking Breakfast $2,500

  • 25% Future Community Project $221,000

  • Generator $22,000

  • Mountain Bike $10,000

  • Foundation $10,000

  • Rotary Washrooms $500,000

  • Children’s Festival $26,022

  • Fire Alarm System $11,731

  • Crosswalk Program $10,000

  • PARTY Program $10,000

Past projects that have been funding through the Safe Community Initiative:

  • Vehicle Extrication Equipment

  • Ice rescue boats

  • Lift at the Alliance Pipeline Aquatic Centre for those with physical challenges

  • Emergency Management Equipment

  • Portable Defibulators

  • Permanent crosswalk markings

  • Splash Park

  • Rotary Park Washrooms

Budgeted revenues for 2018:

  • Province of Alberta - $385,000 – revenues retained by the Province and the Provincial Victims of Crime Fund

  • Town of Whitecourt $374,000 Total:

    • $374,000 to the Safe Community Reserve

For More Information

Contact Community Safety at 780-778-2273 or administration@whitecourt.ca.