Photo radar coming to Laval

By Robert Frank

Quebec City gave the green light last week for Laval to install photo radar at the city’s four deadliest intersections.

The city gave the Robocop devices the municipal thumbs-up during this week’s the city council meeting, July 8.

“The proposal is to place red light surveillance cameras in areas where we see excessive speed combined with failure to comply with red lights, leading to severe, right-angle accidents in busy traffic,” Laval Police Sgt. Frédéric Jean told The Suburban in an interview.

The four intersections slated to get red-light cameras will be:

• Laurentides & St. Martin
• Laurentides & Dagenais
• Curé Labelle & St. Martin
• St. Martin & le Corbusier

“One of the four will also get photo radar to detect speeding, as well as going through a red light,” Sgt. Jean added, “so if someone accelerates beyond the speed limit through the intersection, they they will receive both a speed limit and a traffic signal infraction.”

He explained that the four intersections were selected based on traffic density, the potential traffic jams conventional police traffic enforcement would cause at rush hour, and the number of accidents that have already occurred there.

Over a five-year period, Sgt. Jean said, “even if you took away all the other reasons why an accident might have occurred, there were still 159 right-angle accidents.”

“These accidents are assuredly the most severe, because the force of the impact is on the passenger side of the vehicle, and causes the most severe injuries to the occupants,” he continued.

Laval police hope that tests and preparation for the intersections involved in the pilot project will begin by the end of the Fall, with the photo radar entering operation by late 2013 or early 2014.

“We believe that this tool will encourage drivers to respect traffic lights and reduce the number of accidents at these intersections,” Sgt. Jean concluded, noting that the fines for photo radar infractions are identical to the citations issued by traffic patrol officers.

“The only difference is that since the driver isn’t immediately identified, no demerit points are incurred,” he said.

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