Residents could soon see more cameras enforcing speed limits near Ottawa's schools, as the City’s Transportation Committee today approved an automated speed enforcement program.
Based on the results of an eight-camera pilot, the program would add another 15 cameras by the end of 2022 and a further 15 to 25 cameras each subsequent year. The cameras would be installed in community safety zones near schools initially, and could be added near playgrounds as the program expands. Program costs, including staffing, would be covered by revenue from tickets issued by automated enforcement. All net revenue from the program would go to a new reserve fund for road safety initiatives.
The pilot successfully reduced traffic speeds near schools, with 200 per cent more drivers obeying the speed limit. The system issued 101,778 tickets during the pilot, resulting in approximately $5.4 million in revenue. In 2021, the program’s projected gross revenue is $6.5 million. After operating costs, the remaining $4.8 million would go to the citywide reserve fund. In 2022, the program is anticipated to bring in $15.8 million, with $8.6 million going to the new road safety reserve fund.
The Committee approved a pilot program and a new by-law to allow the use of low-speed electric vehicles as a safe, efficient and sustainable mobility option in Ottawa. These vehicles operate at maximum speeds of between 32 and 40 kilometres per hour and are restricted to roads with a maximum speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour. Operators would need a City-approved operation plan, proof of registration and insurance. This pilot will encourage innovation and economic development through opportunities for companies to test and deploy new transportation alternatives in Ottawa.
The Committee heard a presentation from staff on winter maintenance operations. A comprehensive review of winter maintenance standards is underway, and staff will report back in the spring of 2022 to recommend enhanced standards for sidewalks and pathways, winter cycling, minor arterial roads, and residential roads and lanes. The City will also make some improvements starting this winter, such as responding to winter events more aggressively and proactively, using technology to be more efficient, and expanding communication with residents.
Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, October 13.