Three tickets in 60 seconds: Another Edmonton driver says stacked fines ‘not ethical’

EDMONTON — Another frustrated Edmonton driver has come forward with not two, but three photo radar tickets taken in less than a minute.

CTV News Edmonton first spoke to retired Edmonton police Staff Sergeant Bill Newton Monday, after his wife received two photo radar tickets 11 seconds apart at consecutive 170 Street intersections.

“Eleven seconds apart, 200 metres apart, so it seemed a little excessive in my way of thinking and I was just wondering how many other people have got caught up in this,” said Newton, who was at one time EPS Traffic Section Supervisor.

Ken Seville, saw Newton’s story and says he typically doesn’t have a problem with photo radar, but he had a family member receive three tickets in less than a minute.

“Within a six-block range, that’s basically a triple fine for one speeding,” said Seville.

Two of those three tickets came from the same traffic cameras on 170 Street — one at 100 Avenue, then again at the next intersection of Stony Plain Road, the same cameras that caught Newton’s wife. The third camera that ticketed Seville’s relative was five blocks away at 95 Avenue.

The tickets show speeds of no higher than 13 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, and Seville says it was during the start of the pandemic when normally heavy traffic had lightened considerably.

“I don’t know if it’s legal because I’m not an expert on that, but I know for sure it’s not ethical,” said Seville.

Two of the tickets were a $115 penalty, and the third was $111.

The City of Edmonton’s Office of Traffic Safety responded to Newton’s story on Monday, saying in part that it is simply responding to areas of safety concerns pointed out by the Edmonton Police Service.

CTV News reached out Wednesday to the city about Seville’s triple-ticketing, and one city councillor responded.

“I do not support photo radar,” said Ward 11 Councillor Mike Nickel in a statement. “I have never supported photo radar and I currently have a petition asking the Transportation Minister to ban photo radar in the province.”

Revenue from photo radar goes to the City of Edmonton and helps fund traffic safety programs, such as driver feedback signs, intersection and crosswalk upgrades and Edmonton Police Services. In 2019, that revenue was counted at $56.8 million.

The city says for transparency, all drivers are made aware of photo radar with signs placed before intersections, as well as having all locations publicly posted on the City of Edmonton’s Open Data Portal.

The Provincial Government is currently reviewing the use of photo radar in Alberta.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s David Ewasuk.

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