By Haley Ritchie, Metro
Cameras capable of catching and ticketing speeding drivers will soon be coming to Ottawa’s busiest school zones.
On Tuesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the province will introduce a bill that would give cities in Ontario the power to approve and install photo radar cameras.
The announcement was made at Elmdale Public School alongside Mayor Jim Watson, Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau and Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi.
In May, city council voted to ask the province for special permission to install photo radar cameras. Right now, cities don’t have that power.
It will still be months before speed cameras are installed in school zones. The legislation will be tabled before the end of November and needs to pass through the legislature. After that process is complete, the discussion of where to put cameras will come to city council.
Somerset ward Coun. Catherine McKenney said she believes installing the cameras is a priority for council and will be asking for them in her ward.
"I think kids across the city deserve a safe way to walk to school. We don’t have the criteria yet for how we’ll evaluate that, but I think that each of us will be looking at particularly dangerous areas where we have a high rate of collision and a high rate of kids walking to school," she said.
The second part of Tuesday’s announcement will allow cities to control their default speed limit on residential roads.
Right now the speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour, but Watson said on Tuesday morning that council would consider lowering Ottawa’s default speed to 40 kilometres per hour.
Naqvi said money raised from the tickets will go to directly to municipalities, and will likely offset the cost of equipment and enforcement.