Toronto Mayor John Tory has asked Premier Kathleen Wynne to amend provincial laws to allow photo radar in the city of Toronto, but carriers should expect any change anytime soon, if at all.
“Give us legislative freedom to do a couple of things that I think are going to be very fundamental to the modernization of policing and to the addressing of the police budgetary concerns,” the mayor said at Queen’s Park following a 40-minute meeting in the premier’s office.
He added the city is seeking “broader latitude than we have today to use technology, especially when it comes to things like traffic management.” He claimed that “technology in place of uniform police officers” will allow for more efficient deployment of expensive, highly trained police officers.”
While this may become a reality at some point in the future, OTA points out that it would not be possible to implement the change within this calendar year and perhaps even longer.
OTA discussed the issue with senior officials and was informed that photo radar is one of seven technologies being examined by the City to help improve traffic enforcement and traffic flow while reducing the need to deploy police officers to achieve the same objective.
It’s important to note that photo radar at this point is actually considered one of the least favourable options by the City. OTA will also be asking the City of Toronto for a complete list of the other technologies being explored.
OTA will report any changes in this area and will be seeking input from members as this situation develops.
In a post-meeting press conference, Wynne was noncommittal on the proposal but agreed “the costs of policing … are a challenge for municipalities.”
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca told the Toronto Star that no specific demand has yet come from the city to revive photo radar and would not speculate until then.
Former NDP premier Bob Rae launched photo radar province-wide on Ontario highways in 1994. The system was scrapped when Progressive Conservative Mike Harris became premier less than a year later.