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Speed enforcement cameras installed in Barrie to slow aggressive driving

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Barrie is officially rolling out its new Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) with two photo radar camera systems around the city.

"If you had asked me a couple of years ago, I think I would've said they were definitely a little bit annoying, and I wasn't a big fan of them. But honestly, now becoming a homeowner, recently got married, I have a kid on the way too in the next couple months, I do see a purpose for them," said Dion Antony, who often visits Barrie for work.

Camera locations are prioritized based on data collection identifying areas where speeding is most prominent.

City officials say most complaints about unsafe driving come from particular areas so that the cameras will start near Anne Street and Big Bay Point Road schools.

"Most often that's seen through speeding and in particular in our community safety zones, which is where our schools are, which is where our children are walking to and from school," explained Michelle Banfield, the City of Barrie's director of development services.

"They're driving really fast down these streets, especially when it's 40 kilometres per hour. You see some of them driving like 80, maybe even some of them driving faster than that. I'm like, this is not a highway. This is a residential street," said Antony.

A 'coming soon' sign will introduce the cameras that will rotate around neighbourhoods.

A 'coming soon' sign accompanies automated speed enforcement cameras ahead of its launch in Barrie, Ont. (CTV News/Ian Duffy)

The City says this new venture, which was budgeted for, cost a relatively low dollar amount.

"Actually, [it was] only about a couple hundred thousand dollars to get set up for ASE. That includes the camera rentals, the office space for staff, and some new staff needed to be hired," said Banfield.

The penalty for being caught by photo radar will be a fine, but no demerit points and any revenue created by the tickets from speed cameras will be reinvested into the city.

"Council has already said they would want any sort of funds generated through this program to be rolled back into other community safety measures. Possibly even more cameras," said Banfield.

Currently, the two cameras that are up and running are in a testing phase, but as of next week, the City expects the signs to change to 'in use,' meaning a ticket in the mail will follow speed violations.

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