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City data shows spike in red light tickets for first quarter of 2024 versus 2023

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More drivers ran red lights in the first quarter of 2024 than in the same period of 2023, city statistics show.

Some intersections even saw red light infractions almost double, like the intersection of Calgary Trail southbound and Whitemud Drive, which saw 405 red light tickets issued in the first quarter of this year, versus 204 during the same period last year.

The city has provided data for its 10 worst intersections, which are primarily roads with speed limits of 60 km/h or higher.

Officials believe the spike is likely due to weather. More than twice as much snow fell in the city early this year compared to 2023.

"Folks need more time to slow down and stop when it's slippery, so that will explain that seasonal kind of difference," said Christie Pelletier of the City of Edmonton.

"When you look at one year to another, that short one year to another comparison, that's when you see the difference."

Sgt. Kerry Bates of the Edmonton Police Service traffic safety unit agrees weather could have played a factor in the increase in violations.

"It's a good stretch of really cold weather. And I think even the road maintenance solutions they put on the road don't do the job quite as well in really cold weather, and the roads do get slippery," he told CTV News Edmonton on Thursday.

But Bates points out weather is not an excuse to run a red light.

"We're supposed to drive to the road conditions, which would mean that people should slow down and use a little more caution, brake a little earlier, and (drive more slowly) on the different roadways."

He says automated enforcement is the best way to deter people from running red lights.

"We don't generally set up on major intersections for red light violations because they're all basically monitored by automated enforcement."

The fine for a red light ticket is $405.

While more tickets were handed out in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the first quarter of 2023, Pelletier says red light violations actually trended downward between 2019 and 2023.

"From a 100,000-vehicle-count perspective, in 2019, we had approximately eight violations for red lights. And then compared to 2023, we had approximately five violations per 100,000 vehicles. So it is significant."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson 

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