OTTAWA -- The city of Ottawa stands to make more than $8.5 million next year by adding 15 new cameras to catch speeders across the city.

The city’s transportation committee approved the plan to add the new cameras on Wednesday, following a pilot project that netted millions of dollars in revenue.

"The 15 areas were ranked based on feedback from schools, based on traffic studies," said Coun. Tim Tierney, chair of the transportation committee. "We just don't plop them willy nilly. There's a lot of science behind it."

The city started its pilot project, focusing on eight locations, in July 2020. In one year, more than 100,000 tickets were issued and they netted $5.4 million in revenue from fines. One camera in Kanata netted nearly $850,000 in the first 10 months alone.

City staff say the cameras worked: they helped reduce high-end speeders at those sites by 72 per cent, and compliance with the speed limit increased by 200 per cent as people got used to the cameras.

"I have had more speeding complaints this year, it's always the number one issue by far," said Tierney.

The city would net $8.6 million in revenue in 2022 with the addition of the 15 new cameras, staff told councillors on Wednesday.

Staff also recommend adding 15 to 25 cameras per year starting in 2023.

If full council votes in favour of the plan, the 15 new cameras will be installed at the following locations:

  • Tenth Line Road from Amiens Street to Des Epinettes Avenue (near Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School)
  • Bearbrook Road from Centrepark Drive to Innes Road (near Good Shepherd Catholic School and Emily Carr Middle School)
  • Greenbank Road from Jockvale Road to Half Moon Bay (near St. Joseph High School)
  • Kanata Avenue from Goulbourn Forced Road to Walden Drive (near All Saints High School)
  • Abbott Street East from Moss Hill Trail to Shea Road (near Sacred Heart High School)
  • Stittsville Main Street from Bandelier Way to Hazeldean Road (near St. Stephen School)
  • Woodroffe Avenue from Georgina Drive to Highway 417 (near D. Roy Kennedy Public School)
  • Greenbank Road from Harrison Street to Banner Road (near Sir Robert Borden High School)
  • St. Laurent Boulevard from Noranda Avenue to Clarke Avenue (near Queen Elizabeth Public School)
  • Fisher Avenue from Deer Park Road to Kintyre Private (near St. Pius X elementary school and high school)
  • Alta Vista Drive from Ayers Avenue to Ridgemont Avenue (near Charles H. Hulse Public School and Ridgemont High School)
  • Crestway Drive from Oldfield Street to Hathaway Drive (near St. Andrew School)
  • Chapman Mills Drive from Beatrice Drive to Meadgate Gate (near St. Emily school, Jean-Robert Gauthier Elementary School and Chapman Mills Public School)
  • Abbeyhill Drive from Aldburn Place to Sherwood Street (near A.Y. Jackson Secondary School)
  • Bridgestone Drive from Sunnybrooke Drive to Granite Court (near Maurice-Lapointe Public Elementary School)

The eight cameras already installed are at these locations:

  • Bayshore Drive near 50 Bayshore Drive
  • Katimavik Road between Castlefrank Road and McGibbon Drive
  • Ogilvie Road between Appleford Street and Elmlea Gate
  • Smyth Road between Haig Drive and Edgecomb Street
  • Meadowlands Drive West between Winthrow Avenue and Thatcher Street
  • Innes Road between Provence Avenue and Trim Road
  • Longfields Drive, between Highbury Park Drive and Via Verona Avenue
  • Watters Drive, between Charlemagne Boulevard and Roberval Avenue

The money goes toward the city’s road safety action plan, which has a goal of reducing fatal and major injury collisions by 20 per cent by 2024.

The principal of St. Mother Teresa High School on Longfields Drive says the photo radar camera is an extra safety barrier for the kids.

"I’ve noticed that people are respectful of the limits now. So they’re driving a lot more carefully," said Julie Mathe.

"It’s made it so much safer for our students that are coming to school, the walkers and even those being dropped off."

Coun. Jeff Leiper noted there are no cameras in the urban core, and residents downtown are keen to see enforcement tools in their communities as well.

“Residents feel there’s some unfair allocation across the city in favour of suburban and inner suburban wards,” he said.

City staff say the choice of location is entirely data-driven.

SOME RESIDENTS RECEIVED SEVERAL TICKETS

Some councillors raised concerns Wednesday about the exact speed drivers must exceed for photo radar cameras to issue a ticket. Staff agreed that two or three kilometres per hour over wouldn't result in a fine, but couldn't say exactly where the line is drawn.

Jerome Bastien says he received six tickets in Aug. 2020, but only found out about them a month ago. The charges added up to more than $700.

"I’m following traffic, I’m not speeding between cars, no way," he told CTV News. "It’s disgusting. I paid it and whatever, but it makes me despise my government, my city government, for sure."

He said he knows he was doing about 10 kilometres per hour over the limit, but that's accepted generally. He does it next to police cars and isn't pulled over, he said.

"These are not dangerous offences. That’s why a human cop can make a little bit of a judgement call. Whereas these machines are just machines.

PHOTO RADAR IN HIGH SPEED ZONES

Photo radar cameras could also be installed on "high-speed roadways" in 2023.

The transportation committee approved a motion from coun. Diane Deans directing staff to install automated speed enforcement cameras two locations based on the selection criteria for high-speed roadways in 2023.

Deans notes a survey by the city found 65 per cent of residents support the use of photo radar cameras on any roadway where there is speeding.

There is no word on where the two cameras could be installed in high-speed roadways in Ottawa.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Josh Pringle and Dave Charbonneau