Photo radar is enforcement that captures a photograph of a speeding vehicle. As a vehicle enters the radar beam it is detected and the speed is calculated. When the end of the vehicle is detected and if that vehicle’s speed exceeds the posted speed limit for the particular location, the system sets off an audible alarm and takes a photo. During low light periods, a flash is incorporated to enhance the image.
Photo radar is used:
- to enforce speeding violations in locations where it is unsafe for police officers to conduct manual enforcement; or,
- in areas where the safety of pedestrians, construction zone workers, or other drivers might be compromised by a manned traffic stop.
What happens when I get a ticket?
If you receive an offence notice/ticket it is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Where can I pay for the ticket?
Tickets can be paid at Provincial Court or online following the directions on the offence notice.
If I plead guilty to a photo radar offence notice/ticket, will I receive demerits against my driver’s license?
There are no demerit points associated to any automated enforcement tickets if you plead guilty, as they are issued to the registered owner of the vehicle and not a specific person as the driver.
I received an offence notice/ticket in the mail, but someone else was driving. Can you send the offence notice/ticket to the individual that was driving?
No. Provincial legislation requires the offence notice to be issued to the registered owner of the licence plate on the violating vehicle. The registered owner is therefore the person summonsed and is responsible for responding to the offence notice by the date noted on the summons.
I received a photo radar offence notice/ticket in the mail and I don’t agree with it. Who can I contact to further discuss this matter?
Once a ticket is issued to the registered owner it becomes a Provincial Court matter. Options are listed on the offence notice as to how you may address or contest the offence notice/ticket.
Does someone review the photographs before motorists are ticketed?
Yes. Trained and qualified provincially appointed peace officers review every image to verify that the vehicle is in violation and that the vehicle information is correct. Tickets are mailed to registered owners where it is clear the vehicle committed a speed infraction.
There is a vehicle travelling the opposite direction in the photograph; how can you be sure it was my vehicle that was speeding?
Photo radar is set up to only capture vehicle speeds of receding traffic. This means that a car going in the opposite direction is never captured by our equipment.
There are other vehicles travelling beside me in the photo. How do you know I was the one who was speeding?
If there is more than one vehicle in the photograph for photo radar infractions, the ticket will not be issued. With only one vehicle in the captured image there is no question regarding travel speed of the vehicle.
Does a ticket impact my insurance?
Your driving record and your National Safety Code Profile are not affected by automated enforcement tickets.
On my photo radar offence notice/ticket, when detailing the information regarding the date and time of the offence, why does it say "On or about?"
This wording is part of the provincially legislated form and is required for legal purposes.
Why is there a person in the photo radar vehicle?
Persons designated as peace officers in the province of Alberta man the mobile photo radar vehicles. The operator is responsible for setting up and testing the equipment in the vehicle. The operator also observes and makes notes on each violation.
Why does photo radar occasionally operate in areas designated "No Stopping/No Parking?"
In general photo radar vehicles do not operate in restricted areas. This does occur only under specific instructions from the Calgary Police Service. These vehicles are exempt under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act (section 63 and 64) and may enforce in a restricted area the same as any conventional police vehicle.
How do I get photo radar to set up on my street?
If you are concerned about speeding in your community, you can enter a Traffic Service Request (TSR) online or call the TSR line at 403-567-4029.
A member of the Photo Radar Unit will call you back to discuss your concerns and determine if a photo radar unit will be deployed in your area.
How many photo radar vehicles are deployed throughout the city of Calgary?
Currently there are six photo radar vehicles that are deployed within the city of Calgary.
How are photo radar enforcement sites selected?
All sites are selected pursuant to the guidelines set out by the Province of Alberta. Photo radar sites are selected based on one or more of the following criteria:
- high speed corridors;
- high collision locations;
- school and playground zones;
- construction zones; or,
- citizen concerns.
Where does the money from Automated Traffic Enforcement go?
Fifteen per cent of the total fine amount is given to Victim Services, 16.67 per cent goes to the Provincial Government, and the balance of the fine goes to the Municipal Government. If there is a late payment penalty attached to the fine, the province receives the surcharge amount associated with the particular ticket.