Committee OKs plan for Ottawa’s new ‘community safety zones,’ sites for photo radar pilot

The City of Ottawa’s transportation committee gave its blessing to a plan for new “community safety zones” across the city that would allow the municipality to pilot photo radar in 12 school areas.

The plan still needs approval from Ottawa city council, but several councillors sitting on the committee welcomed the project as they and city staff continue to work on ways to crack down on speeding on Ottawa roads.

Under the provincial Highway Traffic Act, the fines for speeding and careless driving in a designated community safety zone are doubled.

The eight sites that traffic management staff are proposing for the new community safety zones are:

  • Watters Road (near St. Francis of Assisi School)
  • Longfields Drive (near École élémentaire catholique Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, St. Mother Teresa High School and Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School)
  • Bayshore Drive (near St. Rose of Lima School)
  • Meadowlands Drive West (near St. Gregory School)
  • Ogilvie Road (near Gloucester High School)
  • Smyth Road (near Vincent Massey Public School, Hillcrest High School and École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité)
  • Innes Road (near École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges)
  • Katimavik Road (near Holy Trinity Catholic High School)

City staff told councillors they reviewed data for roadways around Ottawa’s 376 schools before narrowing the list of sites that would be the best to pilot automated speed enforcement (ASE) — better known as photo radar.

If approved by city council, the eight new community safety zones would be implemented by “no later than Nov. 30,” according to staff. However, the city can’t kick-start the photo radar pilot in those areas until the province has finished writing its ASE regulations, the transportation committee heard.

None of the eight proposed sites is in the city’s urban core, something Capital Coun. Shawn Menard raised with staff. The committee heard the legally required signs for the community safety zones are more than twice as wide as a standard speed-limit sign, which means many urban areas can’t be considered for the zones because the large signs won’t fit on their roadways.

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