Saskatchewan public insurer to keep speed cameras permanently
Published: September 20, 2018
Saskatchewan will have a permanent network of speed cameras; the province’s public insurance provider has announced.
Speed cameras were supposed to be removed but will stay in place following the success of a pilot program designed to test their effectiveness. According to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), the pilot was a clear success and shows speed cameras work when placed on major thoroughfares and high-risk routes in the province.
Saskatchewan introduced speed cameras three years ago, mounting systems located in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Regina.
Data from the trial period shows the number of speeders has decreased in the areas where cameras are placed. SGI says tested areas included school zones and sections of road considered high-speed areas.
Of course, the traditional criticism of speed cameras is motorists will slow down for cameras they know are there but will speed up in other areas. Even so-called roadside mobile cameras designed to surprise drivers are less effective because social media moves quick to tell motorists in an area when a camera is present.
However, SGI insists its program has avoided these trappings and points to declining collision rates in areas where speed cameras are in use. Indeed, the province will continue to clearly mark and sign post where cameras are located.
“It’s been a really positive effect. And with those fewer casualties and injuries on the roads, that’s very positive,” said Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) minister Joe Hargrave. “We know that just makes it safer.”
Earlier this year, Saskatchewan announced tougher rules on speeders after high than usual fatality rates involving speeding in 2016.
Starting May 01, 2018, the low-end fine for a speeding ticket will increase by $30, while all per-kilometer charges will be doubled from the same date. Under the current system, drivers going 20 km/h over the designated speed limit face a $130 fine. With the new increase, the same offence will carry a fine of $190. Higher fines will be meted out for drivers flaunting speed limits in school and construction zones.