Crosswalk cams eyed Chief accepts proposal from councillor on concept
By: Aldo Santin
WINNIPEG police will examine the feasibility of installing photo-radar-like cameras and other safety measures at pedestrian corridors.
"We have to be open to look at anything that would improve safety for our citizens," Chief Devon Clunis said.
The Winnipeg Police Board met Friday morning and agreed to the proposal from Coun. Ross Eadie to study measures to bring motorists into compliance with traffic laws.
"Bad motorists are doing this all the time," Eadie (Mynarski) said. "They're blowing through pedestrian corridors because they know they can and they know it's against the law."
The board instructed the WPS to look at all aspects of installing cameras, including possible locations, costs and benefits. The report will be brought back in 60 days. The WPS will also consider adopting other measures that will improve pedestrian safety and bring motorists into compliance.
Eadie said he's pleased with the board's response and the willingness of Clunis to look into the issue.
"This is an issue of police enforcement," Eadie said, adding he believes the most violations are occurring on busy regional routes, including Main Street and Pembina Highway.
In Manitoba, motorists who fail to stop for a pedestrian at a pedestrian corridor face a fine of $175.30.
Motorists can also be fined an additional $143.75 for passing another vehicle stopped for a pedestrian.
Washington, D.C., is the only major municipality in North America with pedestrian cameras, having installed them in November at 16 crosswalks near schools and recreation centres.
Clunis told the board installing similar cameras would likely require the approval of the province.
Clunis said the WPS had already been looking at the issue of pedestrian safety and driver violations but was not prepared to release any results before a comprehensive report is brought back to the board.
"In principle, it sounds like an excellent idea but... you have to look at the practicality of implementing it," Clunis said.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 B4
* * * * * Winnipeg police to study proposed pedestrian corridor cameras http://metronews.ca/news/winnipeg/920848/winnipeg-police-to-study-proposed-p...
A report on the feasibility of red-light-type cameras at pedestrian corridors will be delivered in 60 days, said Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis.
“I’m looking at the impetus behind this, it’s about safety,” said Clunis following Friday’s Winnipeg Police Board meeting.
Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski) said the cameras are necessary because drivers are blowing through the crossings.
As to how big the problem is, Clunis said the police’s admin will be checking their stats.
“We need to go back and look, ‘OK, is this really a primary concern?,’” he added.
“Certainly we know that at pedestrian corridors people have been killed in the past, and one death is one too many, but is it a very serious problem? We need to go back and look at that.”
Coun. Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands), who chairs the police board and is known for his opposition to the photo radar program, said he’ll reserve his judgment until the police report is delivered.
“My concern with the photo radar program in the past that it has been more about revenue than it has been about safety,” said Fielding.
“(But) from my point of view, I think it doesn’t hurt to listen to ideas.”
Should the pedestrian corridors cameras idea garner support, Chief Clunis said any implementation would require changes to provincial legislation.