Intersection speeding tickets up in Calgary during COVID-19 pandemic

More Calgarians have been putting the pedal to the metal since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s according to speeding ticket data from the Calgary Police Service.

According to CPS, 11 per cent more tickets were issued by intersection safety cameras in March of 2020 compared with March 2019. April saw a 10 per cent increase year over year. May saw a 15 per cent jump. And June tickets went up by five per cent.

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The cameras detect the speed vehicles travel through select intersections throughout the city. They can also detect when a vehicle fails to stop for a red light. Tickets resulting from infractions are mailed to the car’s registered owner.

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The increase in tickets come at a time when traffic is down in the city.

Calgary Transportation told Global News that, compared with the first week of March 2020, passenger vehicle volume is down:

  • 60 per cent during the last week of March
  • 35 per cent in early May
  • 15 per cent in early June
  • 10 per cent in early July

CPS dispatched its residential traffic safety unit in response to “complaints of speeding/excessively loud vehicles and careless driving.”

According to a Facebook post, one vehicle was caught going 115 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

According to Acting Sgt. Chris Agren, because traffic volumes are so much lower, there’s more room on the roadways. That means that not only are people driving faster, but speed cameras around the city are capturing more of those licence plates.

“Driving around and March and April and some of May… you didn’t even know that rush hour was occurring,” he said.

“So what happens is, there’s just less traffic in and around especially the speed-on-green type cameras. So what it does enable… them to do is to be a little more accurate more often.”

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Read more: Self-isolation speeders: Calgary police warn empty streets aren’t an invitation for lead-footed drivers

Agren said the speeding has declined somewhat since businesses, workplaces and schools have started reopening, but the issue doesn’t appear to be going away in a hurry.

“Those types of speeds that we were seeing more during the daytime hours or on-peak hours… definitely those are the types of speeds we see kind of more off-peak hours when there is less volume,” he said.

Since the start of the school year, Agren said drivers have for the most part been respecting the school zone speed limits around the city.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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