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Thread: Photo radar money, where does it go?

  1. #1

    Default Photo radar money, where does it go?

    I know the city states it goes into "traffic safety", but what does that mean exactly? Where does the millions of dollars go? I think we have a right to have this information since they claim it's not a cash cow and it's being spent on safety. I want to see some numbers. How does one request this information from the city?

  2. #2

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    It's literally the first question on the CoE website's FAQ on Automated Enforcement.

    https://www.edmonton.ca/transportati...radar-faq.aspx

    Revenue generated by photo enforcement does NOT go into general revenue. Revenue from photo radar can only be spent on traffic safety programs, not on general City expenses.
    Revenue covers operating costs of automated enforcement including a base allocation to Edmonton Police Service. In 2015, Edmonton Police Service received $18 million from automated enforcement.

    • 15% of the total fine is given to Victims Services
    • 16.67% goes to the Alberta Government
    • The remaining fine balance goes to the Reserve Fund and is used to fund safety and community projects at Council’s direction
    • Any late payment penalty attached to the fine goes to the province (amount of $20 or 20%, whichever is greater)
    • Speed infractions follow the specified penalties as listed in the Alberta Traffic Safety Act
    For a more detailed breakdown you can review all of the individual budget information. You don't have to request anything, all the numbers are available for the price of a modicum of effort & a bit of searching.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  3. #3

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    Right, it's the 3rd bullet that I want information on

    "The remaining fine balance goes to the Reserve Fund and is used to fund safety and community projects at Council’s direction"

    So they can basically spend it on whatever they want. These are the numbers I want to see. Where is the breakdown for that remaining ~70% of the millions of dollars they get every year?

  4. #4

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    I have seen that 70% going to the Reserve Fund and often think why don't they give us the break down of that 70%. If 70% is for a safety fund and community projects I often wonder why some communities wait so long to get lights with left/right turning green signals or flashing lights at crosswalks where they are badly needed. I guess some of it gets wasted on bike lanes that have to be then closed or re-directed to other streets. One think about the C of E they sure know how to collect money but they sure no how to waste it.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  5. #5

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    No, they can only spend it on traffic safety initiatives, not general city expenses. You're glossing over some very significant points in the preamble (including the $18M that goes to EPS, before the splitting happens) so you can start your witchhunt about the 3rd bullet point.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  6. #6

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    Traffic Safety Reserve Policy for those uninformed:

    https://www.edmonton.ca/city_governm...tives/C579.pdf

    The Traffic Safety and Automated Enforcement Reserve will be funded from the Automated Enforcement Revenue and is to have a minimum balance of 5% of actual Automated Enforcement Revenue. In the event the reserve balance falls below the minimum level, a strategy will be adopted to achieve the minimum level over a period not to exceed three years.
    The Traffic Safety and Automated Enforcement Reserve is established to address the revenue variability associated with automated traffic enforcement and to allow for the accumulation of Annual Traffic Safety Program Surplus funds within the reserve or fund an Annual Traffic Safety Program Deficit when necessary. Annual budgeted automated enforcement revenue is intended to fund on-going traffic safety initiatives and other programs approved by City Council through the budget process. The minimum reserve balance represents the stabilization portion of the Traffic Safety and Automated Enforcement Reserve and is intended to manage unforeseen impacts to revenue in the current year. Any sustained impact to program revenues (i.e. change in legislation, automated enforcement technologies) must be managed in the following budget year.
    I know facts are anathema to many of the posters on the board, but I feel like fighting the futile fight today.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  7. #7

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    And here's the budget from 2014 (latest one I can find while shovelling food in my mouth on my break.)

    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    No, they can only spend it on traffic safety initiatives, not general city expenses. You're glossing over some very significant points in the preamble (including the $18M that goes to EPS, before the splitting happens) so you can start your witchhunt about the 3rd bullet point.
    HaHa, witch hunt.
    Is it your turn today to be drama queen.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Traffic Safety Reserve Policy for those uninformed:

    https://www.edmonton.ca/city_governm...tives/C579.pdf

    The Traffic Safety and Automated Enforcement Reserve will be funded from the Automated Enforcement Revenue and is to have a minimum balance of 5% of actual Automated Enforcement Revenue. In the event the reserve balance falls below the minimum level, a strategy will be adopted to achieve the minimum level over a period not to exceed three years.
    The Traffic Safety and Automated Enforcement Reserve is established to address the revenue variability associated with automated traffic enforcement and to allow for the accumulation of Annual Traffic Safety Program Surplus funds within the reserve or fund an Annual Traffic Safety Program Deficit when necessary. Annual budgeted automated enforcement revenue is intended to fund on-going traffic safety initiatives and other programs approved by City Council through the budget process. The minimum reserve balance represents the stabilization portion of the Traffic Safety and Automated Enforcement Reserve and is intended to manage unforeseen impacts to revenue in the current year. Any sustained impact to program revenues (i.e. change in legislation, automated enforcement technologies) must be managed in the following budget year.
    I know facts are anathema to many of the posters on the board, but I feel like fighting the futile fight today.
    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    And here's the budget from 2014 (latest one I can find while shovelling food in my mouth on my break.)


    Not trying to argue anything, I just want to know. So those numbers in that budget you posted, is that in thousands of dollars (ie $30,000 = $30,000,000) or is that actual dollar amounts? Because 2013 brought in $41,300,000. So where did the $41+ million go? What was it spent on? If it's going in a "reserve", it's just being added up year after year? 2014,2015 and 2016 had even high numbers, so this "reserve" has easily over $150 million in it? If EPS is getting chunk of this, why are they more or less absent on the streets? They ignore 99% of window tints, missing mudflaps, people driving with headlights off etc...

    Not trying to start an argument, just want to know if there's over $150 million in a bank somewhere, possibly even collecting interest, and what's the plan for it? If it's being spent, where? And how much? That's all.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Not trying to argue anything, I just want to know. So those numbers in that budget you posted, is that in thousands of dollars (ie $30,000 = $30,000,000) or is that actual dollar amounts? Because 2013 brought in $41,300,000. So where did the $41+ million go? What was it spent on? If it's going in a "reserve", it's just being added up year after year? 2014,2015 and 2016 had even high numbers, so this "reserve" has easily over $150 million in it? If EPS is getting chunk of this, why are they more or less absent on the streets? They ignore 99% of window tints, missing mudflaps, people driving with headlights off etc...

    Not trying to start an argument, just want to know if there's over $150 million in a bank somewhere, possibly even collecting interest, and what's the plan for it? If it's being spent, where? And how much? That's all.
    Yeah, it's in thousands.

    EPS receives over 50% of the revenues, but $15.7M only works out to 3-5 officers on the streets around the clock (extrapolated from EPS' last request for budget increases for more officers). $14.4 million went to running the department.

    As for eligibility:

    Eligibility

    With the approval of policy C579, included as attachment 2 to this report, funding allocations from the reserve can be made to the following:

    a) The Office of Traffic Safety

    b) Edmonton Police Services

    c) Other traffic safety programs as approved by City Council in the capital or operating budget.

    d) Community infrastructure programs such as, but not limited to, the Community Facility Partner Capital Grant Program and the Community League Infrastructure Grant Program.
    Taken from http://sirepub.edmonton.ca/sirepub/c...7020324902.PDF, which is an attachment to http://sirepub.edmonton.ca/sirepub/m...es&meetid=1389. The policy C579 mentioned has already been linked by me earlier in the thread.

    Regarding the hilariously miscalculated sum you're presuming is just sitting in CoE coffers, I direct you to the following budget information:

    http://sirepub.edmonton.ca/sirepub/c...7021054634.PDF which is another attachment to the previously linked meeting.



    The reserve fund is kept to a pretty low amount, with transfers of surplus revenue made to fund traffic safety initiatives, as is defined in the linked documents.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  11. #11

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    EPS bleats about not having enough officers and yet they find the money to open a Terrorist Bureau in Edmonton. A Terrorist Bureau of all things. We are not a particular hot spot for terrorists it seems but EPS did not get the memo. If money from traffic fines is going to EPS to fund crap like this the C of E should maybe start to look at the way it dishes out money to fund pie in the sky ideas like this.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  12. #12

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    The money from Automated Enforcement pays for EPS' traffic enforcement & safety initiatives, not their terrorism department or extra cops for arena event nights or the like.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  13. #13
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    Default

    They might like to drop a few bucks on standardising the countdowns on pedestrian crossing lights. I've seen every variation between 28 seconds and 9 seconds. And most annoyingly, those countdowns that go to a solid amber hand and the traffic light doesn't turn red for several more seconds, or even stays on green.

    Further to that, left turn filter lights that stay green for a hopelessly inadequate few seconds for the volume of traffic on hand. This usually results in several drivers making a kamikaze dash to clear the intersection.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

  14. #14
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    Default

    The length of the pedestrian countdown depends on the width of the intersection (and thus the length of time a pedestrian needs to cross the street). I agree about the lack of synchronization in some cases though. If a traffic light is green, the pedestrian light immediately to the right of it should either be in walk or countdown mode and the countdown should reach 0 when the light turns yellow, every time. When traffic signals stop telling the truth, people start ignoring them.

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