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TMCNet:  City council approves new photo-radar deal [Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)]

[December 14, 2012]

City council approves new photo-radar deal [Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)]

(Winnipeg Free Press (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) City council has voted to approve a seven-year, $20-million deal that will see ACS Public Sector Solutions operate digital red-light intersection speed cameras.

The move means Winnipeg will renew its photo-radar-program contract with ACS until 2020. Police want to switch to digital cameras from film, which would mean clearer photos and more efficient processing of red-light tickets.

Council voted 14-2 in favour of the deal Wednesday. Couns. Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands) and Brian Mayes (St. Vital) voted against it, saying it would be better to devote more resources to traditional traffic enforcement.

In a recent city report, police reviewed the impact of increasing the number of full-time officers dedicated to traffic enforcement to 67 from 10, and found the increase in salaries and court costs would reduce the program's net revenue. The police service also examined whether it makes sense to create a city-run photo-radar special operating agency.

Contracting out the service is the cheapest option, the report said, as it will cost Winnipeg a base price of $41.70 per ticket to hire a service provider, compared with $69 under a special operating agency or $100 per ticket if Winnipeg were to add an additional 57 officers for traffic enforcement.

The report said hiring a photo-radar contractor would also net more money to contribute to the police service, at about $5.5 million a year.

City council also voted in favour of a three-year increase to water and sewer rates, which will see the average Winnipeg household spend $939.32 on water and sewer bills in 2013.

(c) 2012 F.P. Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership

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