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Photo radar protest held in Grande Prairie

A protest against photo radar was held in Grande Prairie this weekend. The founder of the group Alberta Cash Cows visited the city from Edmonton, holding signs with a small group to warn drivers of photo radar trucks ahead.

Darren Thackray is an admin for the Grande Prairie Cash Cows page on Facebook, on which residents share the location of traffic enforcement in the city. He says he feels drivers are being taken advantage of.

“I just don’t like seeing people in an economy that is slow and just on the rebound… they seem to have increased what they said they were going to do. I’ve seen rolling stops jump four-fold and they’re only allowed so many hours a week, according to the city website.”

Thackray also disapproves of trucks being stationed in low accident locations, like along the bypass, where they’re only catching people for driving above the speed limit. He says he’d like residents to have more say in where photo radar is used.

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Another issue Thackray has is that he feels the strategy doesn’t deter drivers from speeding in the first place. He’d rather see peace officers catching them, leading to demerit points and licences removed.

“It doesn’t catch anybody; it just gives them a ticket. We need more police presence out there to actually pull these uninsured, dangerous drivers off the road.”

The City of Grande Prairie brought back automated traffic enforcement at the end of 2015. It collected $2.3 million in fine revenue in 2016. Infrastructure minister Brian Mason said earlier this year that a review into whether photo radar is being used to increase safety or as a cash cow is underway with a report expected by this fall.

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