Calgary police caught on traffic cameras, not paying tickets

Published: March 28, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Callum Micucci

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Police in Calgary have been caught on traffic cameras speeding and running red lights with their lights off, according to a story on CTVnews.ca.

The story cites an access to information request that revealed 861 instances of police officers breaking traffic law in Calgary, and only 24 of these instances resulted in a ticket—and only six of these tickets were ever paid.

“There will be occasions when officers have to speed, to go beyond the speed limit in the execution of their duties,” Kevin Brookwell, a spokesperson for the Calgary Police Service, told CTVnews.ca.

When these officers get caught speeding or running a red, they’re supposed to be able to justify why, as the law allows for them to do so only when it is “reasonable and safe.” However, officers were only asked about why they did so 36 per cent of the time.

A video accompanying the story shows several clips of police vehicles running red lights or speeding, with their emergency lights turned off. In some cases, pedestrians were nearby, readying to cross the street when these officers ran reds.

The video also showed that sometimes police officers register their vehicles using the address of the police headquarters, suggesting that the officers do this in an effort to avoid speeding tickets from cameras.

The CTV investigation follows the tabling of legislation in the US that would prohibit the use of traffic enforcement cameras. Republican congressman Ed Perlmutter from Colorado put forward the idea.

Toronto has introduced 77 red light cameras since 2004, and there are over 150 such cameras in Ontario.