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Debate over photo radar cameras moves to rural Ottawa

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A stroll down Richmond's Perth Street is part of Anne-Marie and Anthony Ibell's daily routine, but they find the walk can be sometimes difficult.

"The cars are coming by so fast," said Anne-Marie.

"Although they have new signs up that say 50 and they flash, nobody seems to really notice," said Anthony.

Speeding is becoming a growing concern for residents in rural areas, especially as new housing developments pop up. In 2020, a city report showed rural Ottawa had the highest percentage of fatal collisions at 37 per cent.

Coun. David Brown is hoping to change that by implementing photo radar in problem areas.

"We're at the intersection of Perth and Meynell and at this point going west, there's no stop sign to help slow traffic," said the Rideau-Jock councillor.

Brown introduced a motion at city council to identify additional locations where the speed cameras could be placed, specifically at entry points to villages like Richmond, Manotick and Carp.

"I think after you see people being stopped or they get fined, I think they'll wake up and decide to slow down going through Richmond. It's not a speedway," said resident Graham Forrest.

But not everyone thinks it's the best option.

"I think speed cameras are a cash scam," said Anthony.

"Speed cams I don't agree with," said Anne-Marie. "But something has to be done."

Brown says implementing photo radar is just one measure to enforce speed limits. Construction for a roundabout at the Perth-Meynell intersection is expected to start in the spring to help with the flow of traffic.

Now that council has approved Brown's motion, city staff will spend the year identifying locations that could meet the conditions for a speed camera.

"This isn't about raising revenue it's about solving the problem," he said. "We want to make sure, as we build out these communities, we are bringing solutions we know work." 

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