Socialist Don Iveson is out to lunch on photo radar

On Tuesday, in response to this (mostly) excellent petition, Mayor Coward and the rest of the dregs on city council addressed photo radar:

“I’m just tired of this sense that some people have that they’re better than the law. This is my kids’ safety, this is people’s safety that’s at stake here,” he said.

“These people that want to argue that they’re above the law, I have just had it with them, absolutely had it.”
The problem with "this sense" that we're better than "the law" is that it's true: drivers willing to flout the law are less likely to be in an accident. That drivers are capable of figuring out the safe speeds better than our useless lout of a mayor is a fact that's pretty much beyond reproach at this stage.

"People's safety" is, of course, a misnomer: speed limit decreases can mean increases in accidents and mortality rates! (not to mention the obvious, the "safest" speed that Don Iveson the Coward could set would be 0km/hr city-wide. Unsurprisingly, the City of Edmonton is unwilling to put this level of stake into "kids's safety"!)

And why on earth are Don Iveson's playing on the Whitemud or Scona Road? I realize that his children are the byproduct of him and the only (cowardly) woman dumb enough to hook up with him, but even they surely cannot be stupid enough to confuse a playpark with the intersection at 91st street and 34th avenue.

Cowardly Iveson, of course, put it all in a blogpost as well. Most of everything the asshole says is wrong, as you may have already guessed:
Last year, 23 people died in collisions on our streets. Thousands were injured in an average of 68 collisions per day, which altogether caused millions in damage and worsened congestion on our roads
What was the average speed during these collisions? Were they caused by drivers going above or below the speed limit? Were the drivers even at fault in all of them? Even at 50km/hr, a drunk Indian crossing the Hendy at night would be killed if he was hit by a car. Will the limit on the Henday be lowered to 20 to avoid this?

More to the point, do you know what's causing all of this ridiculous conjestion on the roads? Badly designed LRT intersections and artificially low speed limits. Hey, idiot! That's your department. There's a term for people who create problems and then make cosmetic changes to make it look like they are trying to solve those problems. "Cowardly asshole Don Iveson" is one of those terms.
The good news is that injury and fatality rates are coming down, thanks in part to a suite of integrated traffic safety programs including Automated Photo Enforcement. Back in 2007, there were 7.44 such collisions per 1,000 Edmontonians. Last year that number was 3.89 per 1,000 people
Remember the "superficial things" issue above? It comes back to a head here: the City has (to its credit) been looking at real things to prevent collisions: namely redesigning intersections to make them less likely to cause collisions (such as changing angles so that less extreme shoulder checking is required). This effort was mostly done in between 2004 and 2010. Kindly note that the "back in" bad old days corresponds with the time period in which the roads were being rebuilt to minimize accidents. So where does the coward come up with crediting photo radar? A city-commissioned study that, surprise surprise, tells the city exactly what they want to hear (and oddly seems to counter every neutral study ever conducted on the relationship between speed and accidents).
“according to Dr. Karim El-Basyouny, the City of Edmonton’s Research Chair in Urban Traffic Safety at the University of Alberta, the risk of a collision doubles at 5 km/h over the speed limit in a 60 km/h zone. The risk is four times higher at 10 km/h over and 10 times higher at 15 km/h over the speed limit.”
Is there an increased risk of collisions between two vehicles exceeding the silly random number posted on the side of the road? The "exciting" stats being peddled here is just the obvious notion that speed differentials cause issues. Studies have shown about 10% of the population are retards who blindly follow whatever nonsense the government tells them to. As per https://twitter.com/FACLC/status/519556711086964736my favourite (and always unanswered) question, if the city set the limit to 10km/hr on every road tomorrow, how many of these "just don't speed" whiners would actually do it?

Officially, however, nobody at the City can take a position that the speed limit is anything other than the speed limit.




1. a point or level beyond which something does not or may not extend or pass.
This may be a bit of a shocker to somebody as dense as Don Iveson, but we extend or pass this point or level every goddamned day. Excepting for a few insane people, and the brief pause when we pass a radar van, it's a constant that happens all day every day. Speeders are national benefactors, and leeching mayors aren't quite as much. The random number that is posted on the side of the road is just that, and we ignore it quite happily thank you very much.
To me, the solution is simple: the most effective and principled way we can put photo radar out of business is to stop speeding.
Yes, this is true. However, the only principled way to do this is to eliminate speeding as a thing. "Speeding" is just "driving faster than a sign says to". The signs can change, and of course need to. Coming down is just the perfect level of change.

Iveson made the following idiotic comments:
"I'm a law maker, I make laws not to be casually obeyed as it suits you, I make laws so that they get obeyed. We are going to enforce them and we are going to make them stand."
I don't obey your laws, you statist twit. I never will, and everybody will fully understand why you chose cowardice when I confront you if you ever dare stop me. Your enforcement by corrupt cops is laughable: you'll never stop us. We outnumber you, and we're smarter.

The comments on Iveson's post, which are usually a series of dreck by whichever pro-sodomy group has retweeted him lately, is refreshingly positive. Here are a few highlights:
If you set all speed limits to be realistic with the flow of traffic, I will cease complaining about photo radar. Until then, photo radar in my mind is unreasonable criminalization of the normal actions of everyday working people. Going 115km/h with the flow of traffic on Henday should not be against the law.

Also concerning is the fact that you still don’t understand why people still think photo radar is a cash grab. People are now well aware where the money goes, what grinds our gears is how photo radar is run like a for-profit company. For example, does hiding a photo radar van behind bushes or on top of overpasses make the road any safer than placing it in plain view? No, but it makes the program more money. Especially now that city employees at running the program, I wonder if they’re more interested in justifying their existence than anything.

I would also prefer not to hear the “well, stop speeding” argument from you anymore. You’re here to represent the people of Edmonton and address our concerns. As soon as you start lecturing people like that, your case for keeping photo radar loses a lot of credibility. People don’t like being talked down to, especially when they feel like they’ve been wronged in the first place
Do you think this a joke MR Iveson. You think 17K+ people just decided one day, “Hey I’m gonna sign a petition for photo radar….” Open your eyes and your mind Mt Iveson. This is an awakening. An awakening from people representing all ages, gender, race, profession. This has only begun
Except photo radar should not be set at a threshold that seems unfair. Then it is correctly seen as a road tax. It’s simplistic to say just don’t speed. Ask any enforcement personnel who have done radar/speed enforcement, unfair enforcement ie using a low threshold, getting people in a transition zone, down hill. In an area that doesn’t have traffic accidents but is just a convenient “fishing” hole actually causes people to go faster elsewhere. Photo radar is perceived as a road tax grab by many drivers.
there is a photo radar truck on 132 Ave which is a 4 lane wide road with good visibility that is only 50kms an hour. While driving on this road it is VERY easy to increase speed to 5 or 10kms over the speed limit to go with the flow of traffic. I have now started setting my cruise control to 50kms because I can’t trust myself not to speed on that road. My partner and I received 6 photo radar tickets (within a period of 2 weeks) all around the 60kms/hour mark (what we thought the speed limit was, but no posted speed equals 50kms, and I know we should know better, but we didn’t). As it is we both now use the unsafe practice of using cruise control to ensure the speed is adhered to to the letter on a road that as I mentioned is wide and with clear visibility.
Also to note, if the risk of accidents has decreased over time, why take away something that is working? Ironically the moment the thresh hold was decreased below the 11km/h window, accidents have actually increased in intersections and on regular roads. At least thats what the city of edmonton website shows.
Honestly I don’t think Iveson is a bad person, but he’s honestly blind about all this Photo Radar stuff. The issue isn’t speeding (Sometimes when the flow of traffic is above the speed limit, then it’s actually safer to stick with the flow of traffic). The real issue is that drivers aren’t properly educated here in Edmonton. Too many people tailgate, drive non confidently, recklessly (even slower drivers do this), and at times people just don’t know how to drive (don’t even get me started on merging onto highways). Those are the things that the city should be dealing with. Not people which go lets say 10km over the speed limit especially in zones which require higher speed limits.

My other issue with all of this is how the Photo Radar program is a cash grabbing program. Not a safety program. If it was about safety then Photo Radar vans wouldn’t be hiding in the bushes, behind signs etc. Instead they’d be out in the open which would actually get speeders to slow down. Plus the amount of Photo radar now being used due to the councils horrible budgeting skills is just ridiculous. They’re just trying to compensate for going over the planned budget.
I used to be like you are Mr. mayor. A limit is a limit, anything over is exceeding the speed limit. Then I started wondering, why aren’t tickets given out for 51 in a 50 zone. I would think most people would agree that getting a ticket at 51 was silly. Then what should be an acceptable over-the-limit variance?
I also wondered about the safety argument. Are the photo radar units put in places of high accident rates or in places where speed limits are low or change a lot. Here’s a location I see a lot. The 107 ave and 142 street traffic circle. That is a high collision spot. Three entrances to the circle have 60 kph limits, one has a 50. Where is the photo radar unit placed? Not entering the circle, where the collisions happen, but on the 50 kph exit. I can give more examples where the photo radar is placed in areas that catch speeders than in areas of high collisions. I am leaning toward the side that says photo radar is a cash cow
It is good news that injury and fatality rates are coming down. I am sure that safer cars, better brakes, tires, better road surfaces, improved signage, better lighting and visibility all contribute to this positive change.

The city’s active photo radar enforcement program correlates with this change, but likely has done little or nothing to cause this change.

The #1 and #2 causes of fatal collisions are 1) following too closely and 2) making left turns into oncoming traffic. These collision causing factors are not something that photo radar enforcement can directly affect.

In the Edmonton Police Service’s Citizen Satisfaction Survey, people ask the EPS to deal with these problems. Instead, what we get are photo radar trucks hiding in bushes and overpasses on freeways. Nothing at all to do with educating drivers and reducing fatal collisions.
However, you make reference to the police survey citing traffic as a major concern. However, speeding is only a very small part of this concern. People failing to signal, changing lanes without shoulder checking, turning illegally, tailgating, cutting people off, cutting corners, and running red lights are all a much higher concern to me than speeding. On my drive to work I have 3 curves where I have to be extremely careful on because people cut the corners so much that they would run me off the road if I was next to them. Outside of that, I have to react to bad drivers on a weekly, if not daily, basis in order to prevent accidents. These are not caused by myself or the other driver speeding, but rather by, failing to shoulder check, running stop signs, turning illegally, or failing to signal. Essentially, it’s lazy driving. Speeding is such a small issue on the roads as it has been addressed over the past handful of years. What now needs to be addressed is driver training and licensing (I realized this isn’t a city matter) and enforcement of the traffic laws outside of speeding.
I really should commend you on your audacity in taking baby diaper scrapings and serving them up as pudding. Like Ryan, I nor my colleagues have a fundamental problem with photo radar or red light cameras. However when these devices are employed there is some expectation of ethical enforcement. What is disgustingly apparent within your fair city is that the technology has been leveraged to maximize income in the laziest way possible with a guise of “Public safety”. This is not even to discuss the glaring conflict of interest involved in a city department that can cover it’s financial incompetence by tightening the screws and self funding. Asking the administrators pointed questions hahahaha I’m sure that is like asking an alcoholic if they drink too much. It comes out after 5 years that there where cost overruns but nobody noticed since the bottom line was all fine and dandy.
Sorry to here you think photo radar is not going anywhere. Perhaps you can tell me how you seem to think you have so much power ? While riding your bicycle maybe you could think about how much you contribute to our roadways ? The petition is not some trumped up bull and whether you care or not that is only the tip of the iceberg. People in this city are fed up with this cash cow, show me how the safety of the public is served with the location of these traps.You said photo radar is not going away, neither are the people that signed the petition.
Secondly, if zero tolerance is the way forward then we need to take a serious look at the speed limits and where the traps are. You can’t expect people to drive at artificially low speeds because it’s the law. Spend the money and re-evaluate the limit on each road and set it according to it’s design. No more widening Scona road to freeway proportions and keeping the limit at 50. Fix the Whitemud so that it can have a higher limit that is safer because of the flow of traffic and the design. Put traps in places that make a difference, and not just make money. For example I have had many near misses on rowland road around Dawson bridge. This is a road that needs enforcement. There are about half a dozen residential roads and alleys that abut it with no lights and residents coming and going and yet people frequently barrel down this road in excess of 70 Km/h which is too fast for anyone to safely turn out onto the road given it’s curves and reduced visibility. I see a sign that says that the road is radar enforced and yet in 3 years of daily frequent use I have not seen a single photo radar trap or officer enforcing the limit. I did however experience months where good old Scona had traps in one direction or the other most days of the week with it’s one intersection which is controlled by lights and numerous lanes.

You can read some great similar attacks on the coward's silly ideas from Lorne Gunther, with another excellent set of comments below. Iveson's fellow coward David Staples weighs in as well.

The biggest problem, sadly, is that people not properly connecting various events together: the disaster of the bloated photo radar program, the way photo radar isn't geared towards safety at all, the crazy speed limits on Edmonton's roads, and that speeding itself is not nearly as dangerous as commonly believed. Judging by the speed we drive, people understand this deep down but not explicitly enough. Education needs to happen, and once that starts gaining critical mass, statist cowards like Don Iveson will crawl into a hole to hide, or get run over. And no, that last bit isn't a metaphor.