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Photo Enforcement FAQ

Photo radar enforcement vans

Where does the money from photo enforcement go?

Revenue generated by photo enforcement does NOT go into general revenue. Revenue from photo radar can only be spent on traffic safety programs, not on general City expenses.

Revenue covers operating costs of automated enforcement including a base allocation to Edmonton Police Service. In 2015, Edmonton Police Service received $18 million from automated enforcement.

  • 15% of the total fine is given to Victims Services
  • 16.67% goes to the Alberta Government
  • The remaining fine balance goes to the Reserve Fund and is used to fund safety and community projects at Council’s direction
  • Any late payment penalty attached to the fine goes to the province (amount of $20 or 20%, whichever is greater)
  • Speed infractions follow the specified penalties as listed in the Alberta Traffic Safety Act
What traffic safety improvements are done with photo enforcement revenue?

Some engineering improvements to traffic safety include installation of:

  • Protected-only left turn phases at the signalized intersection to reduce left-turn-across-path type collisions
  • Pedestrian signals and pedestrian amber flashers at pedestrian crossings to improve pedestrian safety
  • Driver-feedback signs to let drivers know if they are speeding
  • Retro-reflective tapes and additional traffic-signal fixtures to improve the signal-head visibility at signalized intersections

Photo-enforcement revenue is also used for:

  • Redesigning of right-turn cut-offs at major intersections to reduce followed-too-close type crashes
  • Implementation of engineering improvements at schools to increase the safety of our children
Is photo enforcement automatic or is it under control of the Operators?

Each violation is reviewed by the Operator for accuracy and other related variables. During Photo Enforcement Operations, the City of Edmonton set the enforcement threshold in order to target drivers travelling above the posted speed limit.

Are all Photo Enforcement Operators in the City of Edmonton qualified in the province of Alberta?

Yes. There has never been a lapse in the Photo Enforcement Operators' qualifications. These qualifications can be reviewed through the Solicitor General's office.

How are Photo Enforcement sites selected?

All sites are selected in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Province of Alberta, in relation to high collision corridors, citizen complaints, school zones and construction zones.

Why aren't all photo-enforcement vehicles clearly marked so drivers can slow down when they see them?
The purpose of tickets is to hurt the pocketbook so that drivers say "ouch" and change their driving behaviour. If drivers slow down only until they are past the photo radar unit, then you can bet that they also speed where our children cross the streets.
Does photo enforcement reduce collisions and injuries?

In 2014, Dr. Karim El Basyouny and his team from the University of Alberta conducted a study of the impact that automated mobile speed enforcement on the frequency and severity of different types of motor vehicle collisions on Edmonton roadways. The study showed that there were significant reductions in all collision severities and types as described below:

  • Severe collisions (fatal and injury): reduction of 32.1%
  • Property Damage Only collisions: reduction of 28.7%
  • Total collisions: reduction of 27.7%
  • Speed related property damage only collisions: reduction of 27.3%
  • Speed related collisions: reduction of 26.7% 

Has photo radar been challenged in court?

To date, photo radar has been challenged on technical and constitutional arguments, even up to the Court of Appeal in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. However, the issue of photo radar has withstood all appeals and petitions.

Violators are photographed as they pass by photo-enforcement locations thus enabling police to produce valid evidence in court.

For More Information

Photo Enforcement Enquiries

Telephone 780-496-5656