Photo Radar in Empty Construction Zone Sparks Concern

Photo Radar

Those mobile photo radar vehicles were very busy this past weekend — especially in construction zones with no workers present. Wait, what?!

Several ChrisD.ca readers sent in e-mails beginning Saturday up until Monday afternoon voicing their concerns on a particular issue.

Reportedly, on Saturday night there was a radar van stationed on Bishop Grandin facing eastbound just near Pembina Highway. Construction is underway on the Fort Garry Bridge, but all was quiet between 7 and 8 p.m. on Saturday.

One reader writes:

I don’t pretend to know a lot about how photo radar works, but shouldn’t there be workers on site when those mobile units are placed in the area? There was a red van sitting idle on Bishop Grandin facing east toward River Road on Saturday night at around 7:30 p.m. No workers were present at all. Is this legal?

Another reader:

Just a tip: there’s a mobile radar vehicle parked on Bishop Grandin near the bridge where construction is being done. There are no workers present in the area.

In January, a court ruling stated the photo radar tickets are only valid if workers are present at the construction site.

We reached out to inquire about this issue on Monday afternoon. A provincial press secretary noted that photo radar is operated by the City of Winnipeg, and all inquiries should be directed to them.

However, those who feel that radar should have not been present in an empty construction zone are in for a surprise, as it’s completely legal during certain circumstances:

  • The city can use photo radar when workers are present or when the construction zone poses a risk to motorists.
  • The city determines whether a construction zone is safe or dangerous.
  • If a construction zone is deemed dangerous even when no workers are present, the lower speed limit is in force, so long as the signage is in place alerting motorists to the construction zone.

UPDATE: 4:29 p.m. — The City of Winnipeg got back to us on this issue and provided the following useful information: “The traffic management plan for the construction zone along Bishop Grandin includes a full time speed limit reduction to 60 km for the duration of the construction project on the Fort Garry Bridge. This was implemented on the basis of curves in the roadway, narrowed lanes and a complex driving environment in the area of the detour and approaching roadways. The site is clearly marked where the construction zone begins and ends. Motorists are required to abide by the speed limit signs which are in effect 24 hours a day.”


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