The Region of Ottawa Carleton expects by next summer to have purchased two red-light cameras, as part of a pilot project. Regional Deputy Commissioner of Transportation Doug Brousseau has high hopes that the cameras will reduce the number of red light runners, since motorists won't know whether a camera is at an intersection or not. Eight locations have been identified, and Merivale Road is a prime candidate for the new cameras, given its high accident rates. The corners with Baseline, Meadowlands and Hunt Club averaged thirty accidents each in 1997.
Regional Council has been in support of the idea for years, but has only recently directed staff to proceed with the program.
The cameras are simple in operation. Offending vehicles are photographed while approaching the intersection, and then again as they are passing through on the red. Based on licence plate information, an infraction notice is then sent to the vehicle's owner.
In a related development, early in September, Regional Government in collaboration with the Ottawa Carleton Police, set up 18 “Safe Community Zones” near schools and parks. Increased fines for speeders are one element of the program.