The signs are still up warning drivers they are approaching an intersection where cameras will snap a picture of you if you run a red light – but none of the four red light cameras in Regina have worked since 2016.
In late 2014, city council approved a set of new digital red light cameras and, at the time, they were expected to be installed the next year.
However, the new digital cameras are just being installed at the intersections now – the construction started Oct 15.
Because the change took so long, the contract to administer the old red light cameras expired in 2016 – so they’ve been useless since then.
Norm Kyle, director of roadways and transportation with the City of Regina, explained the process took so long because of a combination of staff shortages, slowdowns in working with the vendors, and changes in the program.
Mayor Michael Fougere echoed those sentiments, saying the workload for the people involved allowed the program to slip. He said the delay is a bit frustrating.
“I would have rather that the red light cameras were installed all the time doing the work it’s supposed to do, but that hasn’t happened so I’m now happy that we’re going to be having the cameras installed in four locations by mid-November – that’s the good news.”
Non-operational red light cameras means the City of Regina hasn’t been getting revenue from them, possibly foregoing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The last year the city could give us numbers for camera revenue was 2013, in that year they brought in about $300,000.
The city said it’s difficult to parse out how much was brought in between 2014 and 2016 because the money was just added to the city’s general revenue fund.
In late 2013, 980 CJME revealed the camera at the Dewdney and Lewvan intersection had been broken for more than three years. Then in 2014, we reported the camera watching westbound traffic at Sask. Drive and Albert Street was broken as well.
City officials had said those cameras would soon be fixed, but now they’ve only been able to say that it’s likely, or that they believe, those two cameras had been fixed before all the cameras went down.
New cameras will take better quality images
The new digital cameras will be an improvement on the old ones, which is bad news for speeders. Kyle explained the new system has full running video with much better quality images.
The new cameras also won’t have to be moved between intersections, and won’t require infrastructure in the roadway, which is one of the reasons the old cameras stopped working.
Kyle explained this new technology should stop many violations from being thrown out of court.
“Just because of the improvements of the technology – so the better imaging. You’re going to get a better image of the license plate and things like that. With the video you can actually see the full motion as opposed to a few snapshots.”
The process for dealing with tickets is changing as well. While the Regina Police Service will still issue the tickets, the city will now administer all the contract work, fines, and revenue.
The new cameras will be installed at the same intersections as the old ones: Lewvan and Dewdney, Albert Street and Parliament Avenue, and two at Albert Street and Sask. Drive.