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Google Maps Now Alerts Canadian Drivers About Photo Radar Cameras 

March 13, 2019

Drivers in Canada using the Google Maps app to help navigate while driving now receive automated voice-alerts when they get close to photo radar cameras. The automated voice states, “speed camera ahead” as drivers approach a fixed radar camera.

Google Maps can be set to send voice directions with your phone stowed away safely out of the driver’s hands, or be used through Android Auto -  a system that connects your phone to the car’s own internal infotainment system and projects the navigation on the existing screen. A reminder: Drivers should never operate Google Maps on their phone while driving.

This is great news, according to Calgary police. The cameras are placed in high-risk areas where there’s a history of collisions. Even though the camera may only be facing one way, all drivers approaching the intersection will receive the alert. The police report that they’ve seen up to 50 percent fewer crashes near speed cameras than before Google rolled out their new alert system. Cameras only capture the speed of receding traffic.

Android users can also report stationary cameras and mobile speed cameras to help other Google Maps users avoid receiving a speed camera ticket in the mail. Speed cameras are placed in areas where there are concerns about the safety of construction zone workers or pedestrians. They may also be in areas where enforcing speeding violations would be unsafe for officers or other drivers.

What happens if you get a photo radar speeding ticket in Alberta? 

If you drive through an area with a photo radar camera and are travelling faster than the posted speed limit, you may receive a ticket in the mail. As your vehicle enters the area, the radar beam from the camera measures your speed. The automated system onboard the camera sounds an audible alarm and captures a photo of the rear of your vehicle. The camera may use a flash in low light.

A provincially-appointed specially-trained peace officer reviews each image to make sure the vehicle license plate is clear and that the system recorded the violation correctly. A ticket is mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner. The peace officer reviewing the photo rejects any violation if there is more than one vehicle in the photograph.

There is no adverse effect to the driver or registered owner’s National Safety Code Profile or driving record. Getting a ticket in the mail as a result of a speeding violation captured by a photo radar camera in Alberta will not affect your car insurance rates.

Drivers who receive a photo radar offence notice in the mail have the right to contest the ticket according to the timeline and instructions detailed in the information included with the ticket.

Alberta plans to reduce the number of radar cameras this summer?

The Alberta government is banning photo radar cameras in certain areas as soon as June 2019 to prevent towns from using the technology purely as a cash-generation tool. Fines received as a result of speed violations captured by radar cameras in Calgary are currently divided as follows:

 - 15% Victim Services
- 16.67% Provincial Government
- The balance of the fine goes to the Municipal Government

Calgary will eliminate cameras located at highway areas with speed changes. The province is banning photo radar use on multi-lane high-speed highways as well unless municipalities can prove there are safety concerns in the area.

Whether you have a perfect record or you’ve received many traditional speeding tickets in the past, shopping around for the right car insurance is a must. Insurance Hotline helps you compare your insurance options to find the best rate and coverage for you.