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Alberta

Provincial government says photo radar a cash grab.. changes coming

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Minister Mason announces changes to photo radar

From the Province of Alberta

Photo radar must focus on safety

An independent third-party review of photo radar operations in Alberta shows that it has a marginal contribution to traffic safety across the province. Changes to the provincial guidelines governing the use of the devices will enhance transparency, increase oversight and enshrine the principle that photo radar can be used only to improve road safety.

“Our goal is to eliminate photo radar as a tool for revenue generation. Photo radar operations must contribute to significant traffic safety outcomes, like reducing collisions and saving lives. We are updating the provincial photo radar guidelines to provide the direction and clarity that municipalities and police agencies need in order to focus on safety.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

The independent review shows that the photo radar guidelines need to produce better data to demonstrate how photo radar contributes to traffic safety. The guideline changes will:

  • Improve accountability by clarifying roles and responsibilities for photo radar programs.
  • Require municipal Traffic Safety Plans to use collision data to ensure photo radar programs are directly tied to safety. The plans will be audited by the provincial government to ensure compliance.
  • Require police services and/or municipalities to post and update photo radar locations and their rationale on municipal/police websites every month (links will be provided on Alberta.ca/photoradar).
  • Prohibit the use of photo radar in transition zones (i.e. adjacent to speed limit signs where speed limits change).
  • Prohibit the use of photo radar on high-speed multi-lane roadways, unless there is a documented traffic safety issue.
  • Require annual reporting and evaluation of how photo radar programs are achieving traffic safety outcomes.

Conventional traffic enforcement, such as police patrolling or scanning traffic with radar, is still allowed in locations where automated enforcement is prohibited. Radar is also still allowed in school zones, playground zones and construction zones.

Over the next year, government will work with municipalities to implement guideline changes, allowing enough time for municipalities to adapt. Government will work with municipalities to refine the guidelines for photo radar site selection, operational restrictions and data collection that will allow for improved and ongoing program evaluation.

Quick facts

  • Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE), commonly referred to as photo radar, is prohibited on provincial highways. It can be used only on sections of highway that pass through municipal boundaries.
  • Currently, 27 municipalities in Alberta are using photo radar programs within their jurisdictions.
  • The existing photo radar guidelines have been in effect since 2014.
  • The independent third-party review found that:
    • More and better data is required from municipalities to justify the use of photo radar and to demonstrate how photo radar contributes to traffic safety.
    • Over a 10-year period, photo radar has been directly responsible for a:
      • 1.4 per cent decrease in collision rates
      • 5.3 per cent reduction in the proportion of fatal collisions

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

New Red Deer City Councillor joins frontline workers in protest against ‘mandatory’ vaccination

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Under imminent threat of losing their jobs, as many as two hundred frontline healthcare workers including paramedics, nurses, and fire fighters gathered in downtown Red Deer Thursday afternoon for a silent protest in front of City Hall Park.  Organizer Kaitlin King, a paramedic from the North Central region says she represents thousands of workers who’ve already had covid and benefit from a very high level of immunity.  Despite her opposition to the covid vaccines, King says she’d be willing to be tested on a regular basis if that was an option.

 

As of Friday afternoon, AHS claims 94% of it’s employees are fully vaccinated.  That number is contested by those who point out the AHS boosted the percentage of vaccinated employees drastically by dropping “casual” employees from their stats.

Whatever the actual number is, AHS has decided it it too high.  Friday, AHS announced via Twitter, that the deadline for AHS employees to be vaccinated or face the loss of their jobs would be delayed from November 1st, to December 1st.

AHS is hoping thousands of employees who’ve decided against the jab so far, will change their minds and begin the process in the coming days.

Meanwhile it appears Vaccine Mandates will be hotly contested by Red Deer’s new City Council.  Newly elected Councillor Victor Doerksen attended the silent rally Thursday.  Doerksen is looking forward to discussing the validity of mandates with his fellow council members as soon as possible.

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Alberta

Saskatchewan Roughriders avoid season sweep in downing Calgary Stampeders 20-17

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CALGARY — The Saskatchewan Roughriders avoided a third consecutive loss to the Stampeders with a 20-17 win Saturday in Calgary.

By a quirk of the CFL schedule, Calgary is the only opponent the Roughriders have played so far in October interrupted only by a bye week.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers hammering the B.C. Lions 45-0 in another West Division game Saturday to get to 10-1 means the defending Grey Cup champions will host the division final Dec. 5.

Saskatchewan (6-4), Calgary (5-6) and the Lions (4-6) are in a race to have the Nov. 28 division semifinal in their stadiums, while the Edmonton Elks (2-7) languish in the basement.

The Stampeders took two games off Saskatchewan in early October to secure the season series. Calgary would rank higher in the standings in the event of a tie between the two clubs at the end of the regular season.

Trailing 10-6 at halftime Saturday, the Roughriders rallied with a pair of second-half touchdowns in front of an announced 21,672 at McMahon Stadium.

Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo completed 21-of-26 pass attempts for 222 yards. He threw touchdown passes to Brayden Lenius and Kyran Moore and was intercepted once.

Saskatchewan kicker Brett Lauther kicked field goals from 48 and 52 yards, but missed from 54 and 44 yards.

Fajardo earned his first career victory against the Stampeders as did Craig Dickenson as Saskatchewan’s head coach.

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was 21 for 31 in passing Saturday to become the Stampeders’ leader in all-time completions.

The 31-year-old Texan needed just two Saturday to surpass previous leader Henry Burris (2,267), and he produced them on Calgary’s opening drive.

Mitchell threw for 311 yards to be 14 shy of a career 30,000.

Two of his three interceptions occurred in Saturday’s second half, however, when Mitchell was also sacked four times.

Ka’Deem Carey scored a rushing touchdown, Richie Sindani made a touchdown catch and Rene Paredes kicked a 12-yard field goal for Calgary.

With just under two minutes remaining in the game, Mitchell’s 44-yard bomb to Shawn Bane put the hosts on Saskatchewan’s 24-yard-line .

A four-yard scoring throw to Sindani on the goal-line, plus the convert, had the Stampeders trailing by a field goal with 48 seconds remaining.

Calgary’s attempt to recover an onside kick failed, however, on a leaping grab by Saskatchewan’s Duke Williams. The Stampeders had the ball for one final drive, but didn’t score again.

Saskatchewan’s Jeremy Clark ran an interception back to Calgary’s 13-yard line on the final play of the third quarter. On a third-and-goal, Fajardo threw to Moore in the end zone for a 20-10 lead.

The Roughriders led for the first time in the game midway through the third when Fajardo found Lenius in the end zone with a 13-yard pass.

Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund fumbled a return in the first half’s final seconds for Saskatchewan to recover. Lauther was wide on a 44-yard attempt, however, after success from 52 out on Saskatchewan’s previous drive.

Carey’s one-yard scoring plunge finished a 12-play, 92-yard drive in the second quarter.

Calgary’s march downfield featured Kamar Jorden’s acrobatic grab for a 31-yard reception to get to Saskatchewan’s doorstep.

Lauther kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play of the opening quarter for a 3-3 score. He then missed a 54-yard attempt early in the second quarter.

Saskatchewan didn’t take advantage of a Jacob Dearborn interception early in the first quarter. A subsequent fumble on a snap gave Calgary the ball back on their own 27-yard line.

Calgary converted a Branden Dozier interception on Saskatchewan’s opening drive of the game into a 12-yard field goal by Paredes.

Notes: D’haquille “Duke” Williams compiled 48 receiving yards on three catches in his Roughriders debut. The former CFL all-star with Edmonton spent the last two seasons with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills . . . Stampeder defensive end Folarin Orimolade sacked Fajardo twice after missing seven games with an ankle injury.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2021

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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