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Automated Traffic Enforcement FAQ
WHAT IS AUTOMATED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT?
Automated Traffic Enforcement captures a photograph of a speeding vehicle. As a vehicle enters the radar beam it is detected and the speed is calculated. When the end of the vehicle is detected and if that vehicle’s speed exceeds the posted speed limit for the particular location, the system sets off an audible alarm and takes a photo. During low light periods, a flash is incorporated to enhance the image.
Automated Traffic Enforcement is used:
-to enforce speeding violations in locations where it is unsafe for police officers to conduct manual enforcement; or,
-in areas where the safety of pedestrians, construction zone workers, or other drivers might be compromised by a manned traffic stop.
Automated Traffic Enforcement ceased operations in Drayton Valley April 30, 2017
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What happens when I get a ticket?
If you receive an offence notice/ticket it is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
If I plead guilty to a photo radar offence notice/ticket, will I receive demerits against my driver’s license?
There are no demerit points associated to any automated enforcement tickets if you plead guilty, as they are issued to the registered owner of the vehicle and not a specific person as the driver.
I received an offence notice/ticket in the mail, but someone else was driving. Can you send the offence notice/ticket to the individual that was driving?
No. Provincial legislation requires the offence notice to be issued to the registered owner of the license plate on the violating vehicle. The registered owner is therefore the person summonsed and is responsible for responding to the offence notice by the date noted on the summons.
I received a photo radar offence notice/ticket in the mail and I don’t agree with it. Who can I contact to further discuss this matter?
Once a ticket is issued to the registered owner it becomes a Provincial Court matter. Options are listed on the offence notice as to how you may address or contest the offence notice/ticket.
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.
Does someone review the photographs before motorists are ticketed?
Yes. Trained and qualified provincially appointed peace officers review every image to verify that the vehicle is in violation and that the vehicle information is correct. Tickets are mailed to registered owners where it is clear the vehicle committed a speed infraction.
There is a vehicle travelling the opposite direction in the photograph; how can you be sure it was my vehicle that was speeding?
Photo radar is set up to only capture vehicle speeds of receding traffic. This means that a car going in the opposite direction is never captured by our equipment.
There are other vehicles travelling beside me in the photo. How do you know I was the one who was speeding?
If there is more than one vehicle in the photograph for photo radar infractions, the ticket will not be issued. With only one vehicle in the captured image there is no question regarding travel speed of the vehicle.
On my photo radar offence notice/ticket, when detailing the information regarding the date and time of the offence, why does it say “On or about?”
This wording is part of the provincially legislated form and is required for legal purposes.
Why is there a person in the photo radar vehicle?
The operator is responsible for setting up and testing the equipment in the vehicle. The operator also observes and makes notes on each violation.
Is automated traffic enforcement automatic or is it under the control of the Operators?
Each violation is reviewed by the Operator for accuracy and other related variables. During Photo Enforcement Operations, enforcement thresholds were set, and approved by the local RCMP detachment, in order to target drivers travelling above the posted speed limit.
Are all Photo Enforcement Operators in the Town of Drayton Valley 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 many photo radar vehicles are deployed throughout Drayton Valley?
Currently there are between two and three photo radar vehicles that are deployed within the town of Drayton Valley
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.
How are photo radar enforcement sites selected?
All sites are selected pursuant to the guidelines set out by the Province of Alberta. Photo radar sites are selected based on one or more of the following criteria:
-high speed corridors;
-high collision locations;
-school and playground zones;
-construction zones; or,
-RCMP have signed off on designated sites in Drayton Valley
Where does the money from Automated Traffic Enforcement go?
Funds received from Automated Traffic Enforcement will be held in reserves and allocated to enhancing a safe and healthy community. Funding, through the Safe and Healthy Community Reserve, may be provided for Town programs or projects such as, but not limited to, the following:
-Community safety initiative;
-Community health and resiliency initiatives; and
-Activities geared towards communities of interest (such as, but not limited to, youth summer camps and adult defensive driver programs.)