Automated Traffic Enforcement
The City of Spruce Grove uses automated technologies, commonly referred to as "photo radar", to assist in the enforcement of speeding, red light infractions and stop signs at various locations located across the city. This system is reviewed on a regular basis to determine if it is meeting its goal of collision reduction and a reduction in severity of collisions.
Automated traffic enforcement is merely one facet of traffic safety used by the City of Spruce Grove. Collision and severity of injuries are monitored, along with trends, and targeted stationary and roaming enforcement is done by Community Peace Officers in marked vehicles. Covert speed monitoring is also completed to help identify high risk areas.
Automated traffic enforcement are located at various approved locations within the city. Locations where automated traffic enforcement is conducted is reviewed and approved on multiple levels, including the Justice & Solicitor General’s office. Areas where enforcement is focused on includes:
- high collision locations
- high pedestrian volume locations
- school and playground zones or parks areas
- construction zones
Review and Notification
Evidence capturing the violation is reviewed and verified by a trained Community Peace Officer before a violation ticket is prepared and mailed to the registered owner of the license plate.
Fines are set by the Province of Alberta and listed in the specified penalties listed in the Alberta Traffic Safety Act.
Frequently Asked Questions
The City of Spruce Grove’s automated traffic enforcement program includes speed, red light and stop sign enforcement. This is achieved with both fixed and mobile systems using a variety of technologies. These systems, along with uniformed traffic enforcement and education campaigns, help make Spruce Grove roads safer by reducing both the number and severity of collisions.
Mobile Automated Traffic Enforcement
Used to monitor speed, red light and stop sign infractions, mobile automated traffic enforcement uses vehicle-mounted equipment or portable systems that are controlled by an operator who is either inside a vehicle or located nearby, watching the infraction(s) occur. Mobile automated traffic enforcement is used between intersections and at intersections on a temporary basis. Mobile equipment takes both still images and video footage of violating vehicles, and records the location, date and time of the infraction(s). A trained and qualified peace officer sits with the equipment, observes the violating vehicles and makes notes accordingly. The equipment and technology utilized goes through regular testing as required by the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General.
Fixed Intersection Automated Traffic Enforcement
Fixed intersection automated traffic enforcement systems are fully automated and mounted above or before intersections to capture red light and speed violations. In the case of a red light violation, lane-specific technology that detects moving vehicles triggers the camera just before and after the vehicle enters the intersection to clearly show a red light violation occurred. In the case of speed violations, the same lane-specific technology identifies the violating vehicle and captures the required evidence of the violation. Although an operator is not present at the intersection, a peace officer does review any violation(s) captured by the fixed intersection system to confirm and determine that an offence has occurred.
Automated traffic enforcement is one tool that is used to promote safe driving in Spruce Grove. It helps change/improve driving behaviours and encourages drivers to follow the rules of the road without taking away from other priorities and enforcement efforts in our city. Speeding, running red lights and failing to stop at stop signs are leading causes of serious and fatal collisions. Many cities use automated traffic enforcement and have seen improvements in overall road safety.
Regardless of whether a ticket is issued through conventional enforcement or automated traffic enforcement, the revenue is split between the province and the City.
For example, of a $405 ticket issued for failing to stop at a stop sign:
- $67.50 (20%) is a provincial surcharge and helps to fund the Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program;
- $135.00 goes to the Province as a “traffic fine administration fee”; and
- $202.50 goes to the City to pay for the operation of the automated traffic enforcement system, and support other programs, services and initiatives including policing, fire services, roads and parks.
Of the total $405.00 ticket, $202.50 is distributed to the Province, and $202.50 is distributed to the City.
Automated traffic enforcement is used on roadways where collisions, violation rates and/or safety are a concern.
The frequency and severity of collisions are factored into deciding where automated traffic enforcement will be located. For example, while a location may have a very low frequency of collisions, the severity of those collisions may be severe enough to warrant additional enforcement in order to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
All locations are reviewed and approved by the RCMP and subject to audits by the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General. Automated enforcement locations are posted on our website.
Automated enforcement vehicles are permitted by the Traffic Safety Act to park on boulevards, shoulders and other no parking areas while performing their duties.
Only vehicles committing a red light or speed infraction are recorded.
In the case of a red light, only vehicles that are entering an intersection after the light turns red and do not come to a full stop prior to entering the intersection are recorded. Drivers who enter on a yellow and find themselves in an intersection when the light changes to red are not recorded.
In the case of a speed infraction, any vehicle that enters the intersection over the set threshold speed will be captured by the camera. A speed infraction will be recorded on any light phase: red, yellow or green.
Yes. If you fail to come to a full stop before turning right at a red light, you may get a ticket. The Traffic Safety Act defines “stop” as: a complete cessation from vehicular movement.
Yes. Peace officers review every picture and/or recording to verify that a traffic violation has occurred. Once a violation has been verified, a ticket is issued and mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner.
It is difficult for police/peace officers to enforce red light and speed infractions at intersections because they must follow offenders through the intersection, potentially against the light, to catch them. This can endanger other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, as well as the officers. The cameras allow police/peace officers to focus on other enforcement priorities.
If you believe you have received a ticket in error, you may contact the phone number on the ticket for inquiries, notify the prosecutor’s office, or plead not guilty in writing or via the identified first appearance date on the ticket.
Reports and Presentations
- Automated Traffic Enforcement 2022 Report
- Automated Traffic Enforcement 2021 Report
- Automated Traffic Enforcement 2020 Report
- Automated Traffic Enforcement 2018-2019 Report
- ATE Council Presentation - April 23, 2019
- ATE Council Presentation - April 15, 2019
- ATE Council Presentation - March 25, 2019
- ATE Council Presentation - March 18, 2019