Speed demons beware. One Milton councilor-elect is rallying behind the proposed re-introduction of photo-radar in Ontario.
“My platform called for photo-radar in Milton. And I believe I was handily elected because of this,” said Tony Lambert, who as of this Monday will represent the residents of Wards 1,6,7,8 as regional councillor.
“When I went door-to-door, to 20,000 houses, over and over I heard how much this is a great idea and how this should be looked at by the Province.”
Lambert’s wish came true recently when Liberal MPP David Caplan introduced a private members’ bill to allow photo-radar.
The technology takes pictures of speeding cars and mails the driver a ticket. Bob Rae’s NDP government launched photo-radar on Ontario streets in August 1994, and 11 months later Mike Harris scrapped the program.
Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne said she has no plans to reinstitute the speeding measure, but she’ll be listening to the debate.
Last week, Lambert wrote to Wynne, Caplan and Premier Dalton McGuinty, throwing his support behind the bill and asking the Province to permit photo-radar.
“The Province has changed their minds on UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships), they changed their minds on hydro rates, they changed their minds on eco fees. Let’s make this the fourth. There’s a precedent for governments to listen to the debate and reexamine issues,” Lambert told the Champion, adding that “Although they’ve decided, they’re not closed off to listening. Perhaps they’ll revisit the issue before the elections.”
Lambert, who’s chair of the Milton Community Policing Committee, said there’s a tremendous desire from Miltonians, especially those in his wards south of Derry Road, to add to the photo-radar debate.
“The people throughout Milton are going to be leading the debate in Halton Region,” he said.
Lambert has been in contact with Regional staff and police to discuss speeding measures in Halton. Two programs are currently in place.
Speedi takes pictures of speeding cars and Road Watch allows residents to report bad drivers to police. In both programs, drivers are visited by police officers after the first or second offence. However, Lambert said he thinks the measures aren’t effective enough.
“There’s no way to follow through on charges. And in my opinion, a visit from police will not alter these drivers’ behaviour.”
This spring Lambert said he’ll be visiting the 40,000 residents in his wards with a petition to re-introduce photo-radar.
“As a Province we do not have to react to a traffic fatality because of speeding — we can be proactive,” he wrote to the minister. “My recommendation is to have motorists lose demerit points if photo-radar is brought back to have the maximum effect on behavior.”
Lambert said photo-radar isn’t simply an additional revenue stream for the government; rather it will help families feel safer on their street.
“This is not a political issue, it’s a safety issue.”