Town of Canmore

Photo Radar

Photo radar is established in multiple locations throughout Canmore to both enforce the posted speed limits within town limits, as well as to raise awareness on the dangers of excess speed in residential areas. All photo radar locations are approved by the Canmore RCMP and meet guidelines set out by the Province of Alberta, and an annual report is submitted to them. 

pdf Click here to read the 2021 Automatic Traffic Enforcement Report (1014 KB)

Changes to Photo Radar
In Dec. 2019, the provincial government initiated a review of the automated traffic enforcement program in Alberta. New photo radar guidelines were implemented in Dec. 2021 to help implement changes to enhance clarity and improve photo radar site locations and revenue streams.

These guidelines are based on 4 guiding principles:

1. Transportation safety, not revenue generation, must be the objective of Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) programs in the province.
2. Police services, in collaboration with municipalities, are responsible to ensure ATE programs are used to improve traffic safety outcomes.
3. Ongoing evaluation of ATE programs will ensure they improve traffic safety outcomes.
4. Public transparency is paramount for the success of photo radar programs.

Beginning April 1, 2022, the Town of Canmore complied with the new provincial guidelines by:

· Adopting a new definition of transition zones that includes areas that have rapid changes in speed, such as highway on and off ramps and highway exits.
· Removing the Bridge Road location to address prohibition of photo radar on residential streets with speeds less than 50 km/h, unless they are school and playground zones or construction zones.
· Restricting the issuance of additional ticket(s) if the notices were received within 5 minutes of each other – only the most serious infraction will be issued a notice.

Effective June 2022, the Town of Canmore will:

· No longer authorize or use sites where public concern or the replacement of the use of conventional enforcement was used as site selection criteria rationale.
· Restrict the use of ATE in school zones to when school is in session, and the speed restriction is in effect, as per local municipal bylaws.

By Dec. 2022, the Town of Canmore will:

· Reassess all existing locations using new location criteria and data and, in conjunction with the RCMP, consider implementing other safety tools, such as engineered traffic calming measures and education, to change behaviour before considering photo radar at a new location.
· Have placards at the front and back of mobile ATE vehicles to make them more visible to drivers.
· Continue to advertise new and existing photo radar sites online and through social media.
· Through existing road rehabilitation or transportation capital projects, change the nature of roadways to match travel speeds to desired speed limits.

Photo Radar Helps Keep Our Community Safer

Automated traffic enforcement is one tool used in Canmore to address speeding and enhance traffic and community safety. With the updated provincial guidelines and continued focus on zones that have historically seen a large number of speeding violations, such as school and playground zones, automated traffic enforcement will continue to support the Town’s traffic safety priorities. Encouraging safe speeds is important to creating safe streets and livable communities because slowing down gives everyone more time to react to the unexpected, avoid collisions, and lower the severity of collision-related injuries.

In 2018, an independent review (PDF, 3 MB) was done to evaluate how photo radar was being used in Alberta.

The review found that:

  • Alberta saw a reduction in collisions overall, over a 10-year period - of that, photo radar was responsible for:
    • 1.4% reduction in traffic collision rates
    • 5.3% reduction in the proportion of fatal collisions
Photo Radar Site Selection
Sites are not selected randomly and include one or more of the following criteria:

·  Playground zones

·  Areas where conventional enforcement is unsafe or ineffective
·  Areas with an identifiable, documented history of speeding problems
·  Areas where the public or a community has expressed concerns related to speeding
·  Sites can also include construction zones, however, photo radar has not been used in construction zones to date.
· As of April 1, 2022, photo radar is no longer permitted at the Bow River Bridge.

The Town of Canmore contracts its photo radar program to a contractor who employs operators that are appointed as Town of Canmore Peace Officers. These officers use the vehicle cameras to conduct photo radar enforcement in Town. 

Council continues to support the philosophy that photo radar has contributed to the safety of the community throughout the years because the data shows photo radar changes behavior and slows people down. Photo radar services will be contracted until 2022.
Click on any of the green, orange, or red highlighted zones on the map below to see the reason the zone is monitored by photo radar.
Photo Radar Revenues
Net revenues are put into a reserve account which funds expenses related to policing and or traffic safety initiatives deemed appropriate by Town Council. Since 2007 $3.9 million dollars of revenues have funded the following programs and traffic safety initiatives:

· Mobile speed display signs and audible traffic signals have been installed.
· An additional RCMP officer for the town was added to the detachment compliment in 2008 which was funded by photo radar revenues. Since 2011, the funding for 1.5 RCMP officers has been funded through photo radar revenues, rather than through municipal taxes.
· Pedestrian crossing lights were installed on the east side of the Bow River Bridge.
· Pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure was improved to increase the comfort, safety, and enjoyment of alternative modes of transportation.  
· Enhancements to the Bow Valley Trail CPR crossing. 
· Cougar Creek parking and pathway improvements.
· Curb ramps added to sidewalks, and multi-use pathways, parking areas.
· Improved safety of pedestrian crossing by installing pre-cast medians to slow traffic and provide pedestrians with refuge.
· New Driver Course Rebate Program

In 2021, photo radar revenues contribute to the following active transportation projects: 

· Traffic calming medians
· Mountaineer's village sidewalk upgrades
· Installation of safe crosswalk, traffic calming, and new sidewalks in Stewart Creek
· Variable messaging speed sign on 7 Avenue
· Installation of 10 new bike racks throughout town

  pdf Click here to read the 2021 Automatic Traffic Enforcement Report (1014 KB)

 For more information, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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