NDP opposes government’s pricey scheme to contract out photo radar policing to Xerox

The government is planning to give Xerox $4.5 million over just two years to run eight photo radar traps in Saskatchewan – a scheme the NDP says is too expensive, and doesn’t make sense.

Under the government’s plan, employees of Xerox in Edmonton will review images from photo radar cameras in Saskatchewan, and Xerox employees will issue speeding tickets to Saskatchewan drivers on behalf of the police. For each of the eight cameras, Saskatchewan will give Xerox more than a half-million dollars.

“The government’s plan just doesn’t make sense,” said NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “For $4.5 million dollars, this government could hire more than 40 new police officers. Instead, they’re going to use that money to have a Xerox employee in Edmonton look over photo radar images and issue tickets to Saskatchewan drivers.”

Wotherspoon said the NDP strongly supports efforts to make roads – especially school zones – as safe as they can be, and supports using proven technology to make roads safer. But, the NDP wants to use the most effective and cost-effective method possible.

“This program is pricey, and overly bureaucratic,” said Wotherspoon. “Instead of a driver getting a speeding ticket from a police officer, a radar image will be sent to Edmonton where a Xerox employee will look at it, call SGI to get the personal details of the registered owner of the car, and then send a ticket from Xerox in Edmonton to the car's owner. This government is paying Xerox employees to enforce the speed limit, rather than paying police to do that, and that doesn't make any sense.”

Wotherspoon said the NDP was willing to support using speed cameras as a pilot program to supplement police work, but that this government's approach has proven to be a failure. At $4.5 million and with the government’s decision to have the tapes reviewed by Xerox and not by Saskatchewan police officers, Wotherspoon said the government’s plan is not the most effective way to make roads safer with the resources allocated.

“We would rather see 40 or 50 more police officers patrolling our communities and our roads than eight new cameras up on poles and a pricey monitoring system based in Edmonton,” said Wotherspoon.