Thursday 2 December 1993

Provincial Offences Statute Law Amendment Act, 1993, Bill 47, Mr Pouliot / Loi de 1993 modifiant

des lois en ce qui concerne les infractions provinciales, projet de loi 47, M. Pouliot


Chair / Président: Brown, Michael A. (Algoma-Manitoulin L)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Daigeler, Hans (Nepean L)

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

*Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

*Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

*Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L)

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

*Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

*White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Cooper, Mike (Kitchener-Wilmot ND) for Mr Mammoliti

Eddy, Ron (Brant-Haldimand L) for Mr Brown

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND) for Mr Morrow

Turnbull, David (York Mills PC) for Mr Arnott

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Brittan, Colin, director, integrated safety project, Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services

Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Ministry of Transportation:

Burns, Ross, legal counsel

Hughes, John, director, safety policy branch

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Yurkow, Russell, legislative counsel



The committee met at 1013 in room 151.


Consideration of Bill 47, An Act to amend certain Acts in respect of the Administration of Justice / Projet de loi 47, Loi modifiant certaines lois en ce qui concerne l'administration de la justice.

The Acting Chair (Mr Ron Eddy): Good morning, members, ladies and gentlemen. The standing committee on general government in clause-by-clause of An Act to amend certain Acts in respect of the Administration of Justice is now in session. I've been advised that Mr White was to be the next speaker. Is that correct?

Mr Drummond White (Durham Centre): Thank you very much, Mr Chair. Frankly, this legislation has caused a great deal of concern throughout the province, throughout my community, and I represent a community where we make automobiles. We make automobiles that have the capacity to go at quite creditable speeds. For example, the Buick Regal, which I drive, is a very good car that, with a 3.8-litre engine, has the capacity of exceeding 100 kilometres an hour.

As to the issue about constitutionality, I understand that issue has been decided in the courts by the Alberta Court of Appeal and that a lot of the concerns and the fears that people have are really quite bogus. None the less, I think they're worth exploring and worth dealing with in public debate, not from a stance of fearmongering, of inciting all kinds of dissent, but rather from a standpoint of having an open dialogue about the real issues in front of us.

I think the constitutionality speaks to whether or not people in our community feel that speeding is in fact a dangerous behaviour. Frankly, I think many don't. I hear from my own colleagues about their membership in the "frequent flyer" club and things like that. It's not thought to be an issue of safety across the board. In the same way that drunk driving perhaps 20 years ago wasn't thought to be a significant issue, I think speeding is still not considered to be a real issue.

There are a number of issues I wanted to explore along these lines. First of all, they are important issues. They are important issues for us as lawmakers, because without the respect that the law should have, we will have people breaking the law and feeling as if it doesn't matter, as if it's something that's imposed upon them. I think people need to know that there's a reason to respect that law, and that's why I wanted to explore several issues.

First off, I read in my notes the importance of safety in this legislation. There's a clipping here from Alberta where the police department in Alberta feels that the incidence of fatal accidents has decreased dramatically because of the introduction of photo-radar. I don't know if that is the case across the board, but to start off, my questions have to do with the whole issue of safety.

I see that in one out of six accidents, speed is involved. When I think of the highways in my neck of the woods, even though poorly serviced and usually jam-packed, because we're in Durham region, which hasn't always had the level of good representation we do now -- those roads still aren't widened to adequately accommodate the drivers in our area, but even so, I wouldn't be surprised if significantly more than one in six drivers on our roads is speeding.

So when I see a statistic that says one in six accidents involves speeding, I would think: "Gee, it sounds like speeding is a safe incident. After all, if you have one in two drivers speeding and accidents are only involved with one in six" -- I wonder if we could explore that a little bit, the relationship between speeding and accidents; first off, accidents period, and then of course the severity of the accidents, the fatal accidents.

Mr George Dadamo (Windsor-Sandwich): I'd like each person who speaks to introduce themselves, as we did last week, so anyone who speaks will be identified.

Mr John Hughes: I'm John Hughes. I'm the director of the safety policy branch of the Ministry of Transportation.

I could address the question of speed as a safety factor and the public perception of speed as a safety factor. There are three points I'd like to make in response.

First of all, there is a very direct and proven correlation between average speed and fatalities and injuries and collisions. There are a number of studies and examples, but I think the best example is the American experience over the last 10 to 15 to 20 years, where there've been several instances where states originally dropped their speed limits due to the energy crisis. When that went away, they rebounded and raised their speed limits, and many of them now are dropping them again. The reason for this is that it's easy to show a very direct correlation between posted speed and fatality and injury rates on those roads.

The second point is that in the Ontario experience, from our collision data records, we know that speed is the greatest single contributing causal factor in collisions.

Third is just the point that the higher the speed, the more severe the consequences of any collision.


Those are three pretty important points to make when considering whether speed is a safety factor. I believe it is. I think public perception may be something different.

Mr White: Could I go back to that? You're saying speed is the greatest causal factor in an accident. Obviously, though, when the accident is investigated, it tends to be after the fact and both vehicles are stopped at that point. How does one know that anyone was exceeding the speed limit?

Mr Hughes: The collision report filled out at the site by the police officer has spaces and opportunities for the officer at the site. Based on his questioning and observations at the site, he has the ability to fill in parts of that form which indicate, in his opinion, what causal factors are involved in the accident. In more serious collisions, of course, it's based on a much more intensive investigation than that.

Mr Colin Brittan: Mr Chair, perhaps I could amplify that. I'm Superintendent Colin Brittan, director of the government of Ontario's integrated safety project. As a serving police officer for more than 25 years, having spent 13 years in service as a constable in southwestern Ontario and having personally investigated several hundred collisions, many of which, far too many of which, were fatalities -- single fatalities, sometimes double fatalities, sometimes multiple fatalities with as many as five or more people, oftentimes children, teenagers, young drivers -- I might be qualified to attest to how we make determinations with respect to speed.

Mr White: Very much so.

Mr Brittan: It doesn't take a police officer long to recognize, first of all, that speed is frequently an obvious contributing factor to a collision even though it may not be the primary reason that the collision occurred. I'm thinking, as an example, of a multiple fatality I investigated personally in which five young teenagers were killed. There was a mechanical failure in their motor vehicle, but they were travelling 40 or 50 miles an hour over the speed limit. While I can't remember precisely how I filled in the Ministry of Transportation motor vehicle accident report, I'm sure I reported that the collision was caused by a mechanical failure and that speed was a contributing factor.

But without exception, the faster you go, the harder you crash. I've used that phrase, which, frankly, is stolen from the state of Victoria in Australia, where that has become a very powerful phrase to help drivers of all ages recognize the simple law of physics: The faster you go, the harder you crash. Whether we have collisions at 50 kilometres an hour or 80 kilometres an hour or 100 kilometres an hour or faster, the risk of dying is significant. The faster you go, the more risk of significant personal injury or death increases.

In the case of the OPP, which investigates a large number of fatalities on roads all over Ontario, including our best highways and including townships and roads in unorganized territories, some of which are of lesser quality than the highways we're accustomed to here in the greater Metropolitan Toronto area, it's always a disappointment to encounter a fatality where speed was a principal factor. A police officer can recognize the symptoms of excessive speed by the damage to the vehicle and, I must tell you, also by the damage to the victims.

It's interesting to note that in recent years, with the improving quality in motor vehicles and air bags and seatbelts and radial tires, we still have a fatality rate in Ontario of about 1,100 people a year. One of the things that concerns the Ontario police community is the possibility that drivers are feeling more confident about their ability to withstand a collision at higher speeds because their motor vehicles, if we are to believe the advertising we see, are said to be safer. As a group, we're concerned that this is lulling motorists into the perception that they can drive faster than posted speed limits and have a greater likelihood of surviving a collision. As an investigator, I'm told by police constables working in the field today that this is a very serious concern. Therefore, I think it's quite appropriate that we look for modern, efficient tools to help regulate the speed of drivers on Ontario's highways.

I'd just close by saying that in Australia they're using another phrase: "Don't fool yourself: Speed kills." A gentleman was kind enough to send this to me as an example of some of the tools they're using to help educate the public. Perhaps it's necessary here in Ontario to adopt some fairly straightforward and blunt safety messages with respect to speed and the probability of injury or death. Perhaps that will be something we'll deal with as we introduce photo-radar in the months to come. I hope that's been helpful.

Mr White: Very helpful, Superintendent Brittan. I very much appreciate your experience in this issue. What you're saying is that while it's impossible to know, on a case-by-case basis from a driver's perspective, what caused an accident, the report of police officers who have been at the scene of countless thousands of accidents is not impressionistic but based upon that knowledge over time, of seeing many thousands of accidents and probably, for each individual, hundreds of injuries and fatalities.

Mr Brittan: As was mentioned just a moment ago, of course witnesses are interviewed, if we're fortunate enough to find survivors in some of these collisions. Again speaking from personal experience, it's sometimes a shocking event, even for a police officer who's spent years in the field, to have a survivor in a vehicle and to discover that the survivor was sitting in the back seat between two or three other young adults or teenagers, literally trapped in a vehicle, with a driver over whom they have no control and to survive a collision in which their friends were grievously injured or killed and to have been able to do nothing to prevent it.

I've suffered through that experience and I can tell you it's a very emotional thing, not only for the survivor but for the family and for the family of the others. That sort of thing also happens too often. But oftentimes witnesses will report accurately, and there are other evidences that can be used to determine speed.

Mr White: That leads to another question I had. Again, Superintendent Brittan, you might be the person best suited to respond. Police officers have been involved, on numerous occasions, in seeing the results of those accidents. There is also, no doubt, a lot of reasoning every time they stop a speeder. They have seen those accidents, they have seen those fatalities and they've seen the tragedy of young lives being snuffed out so grievously, so prematurely. I'm sure that's one of the reasons they are ardent in their pursuit of speeders.

The issue was brought up when we last met, by one of my colleagues in the opposition, that his heart thumps when a police officer stops him for speeding or whatever. Going back to this issue of respect, I also have a respect for the police officers. I'm not sure I'm in peril for my personal safety, but certainly when one sees a police officer, one feels a little sense of respect.

How do police officers feel about those incidents when they pull someone over, when they get out of their car and approach that vehicle in front of them? This is a tremendous change, or could be, in the working conditions of many police officers who constantly monitor speed and safety on the roads.


Mr Brittan: Again speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that to stop a speeder in the middle of the afternoon has its own unique set of threats and benefits to the public. A police officer never knows what he's going to discover as he approaches a violator's car, even a violator as simple as a speeder. It's quite another thing to do this at night. Your question brings to mind the recent -- well, not to get specific, I think you would all know we have lost some police officers in Ontario in recent years who were doing nothing but stopping speeders at the side of the road, sometimes at night, sometimes in the daytime.

This is not an exciting task. This is not a personally pleasing task. It's satisfying in the sense that eventually you have some feeling that you might be influencing the behaviour of drivers, you have some feeling that you might be able to somehow discourage speeders, but it's very hard to see evidence of that.

Perhaps I could give you an explanation of why that would be. Looking at OPP statistics on the issuance of provincial offences notices in the last five years -- and I can't be precisely quoted here but I know I'm very close -- five years ago OPP field officers issued over 500,000 provincial offences notices. Last year they issued just over 300,000, a very significant decline. By far the majority of those are speeding charges and always have been. It is the single most common provincial offence violation and, as far as I know, has been for ever.

In trying to determine why there would be such a radical reduction in the issuance of provincial offences notices, which, by the way, I'm told is reflected in the other police services in Ontario too, I'm told reliably that the reason for this is that during the past five years there has been a corresponding increase in reported crime. Reported crime has climbed, if I'm not mistaken, in the last five years something on the order of 40%. Police officers find themselves torn between their sworn task of influencing the behaviour of drivers -- because we know that's a very important thing and that each and every year we lose about 1,100 drivers in Ontario and we have about 90,000 people injured -- torn between dealing with that issue and the ever-increasing reported crime.

In the case of the senior management of the OPP, judging by the newspapers, we see senior police managers and other police services recognizing that there is not a never-ending source of revenue to continue to hire more police officers. The reality here in Ontario and certainly within the OPP is that resources have been diverted, through the pressure of increasing crime, away from traffic. This, I would predict, will continue to occur, because the OPP, like other Ontario police services, is pressed to satisfy its constituents that crime must be addressed and resolved. After all, that's uppermost on our citizens' minds, and in terms of our community policing advisory groups, which the OPP has all over Ontario, we are receiving advice that we should be pursuing the criminal aspects of daily life, and if anything has to suffer, it's traffic that has to suffer.

From a police managerial perspective, this is very disappointing, but the evidence is clear. Unless we can find some other means to influence driver behaviour in a positive way, it's quite clear to me that the incidence of the heart-pounding stop at the side of the road that was referred to at our last meeting will be less and less and less. That's most unfortunate.

Mr White: But when you mentioned that heart --

The Acting Chair: Mr White, we do have five other members who wish to speak, so could you hurry a bit?

Mr White: Well, I am, Mr Chair.

The Acting Chair: I don't agree; there has been some repetition. We have five other speakers on my list.

Interjection: Hurry it up.

Mr White: I am, Mr Chair. I think these are important issues, though.

The Acting Chair: Very important issues, yes; I agree.

Mr White: My constituents are wanting to know and to explore some of these issues, and I'm concerned that you're pressing us on. Certainly my colleagues don't want to take a great deal of time on this issue. It's important to have these safety issues explored, though.

The Acting Chair: I see.

Mr White: Further to that, though, when we talk about the heart-pounding issue, as you elaborate, it is in fact the police officers who have as much reason to have their hearts pounding as the motorist. In fact, they're probably in much greater danger, to put it mildly, in those incidents.

Mr Brittan: That's correct, sir. Just getting out of their cruisers and stepping on to the roadway or on to the shoulder can be a very exciting, heart-pounding experience, I can assure you.

Mr White: Would legislation like this and tools like this, which have been proven to be effective in other jurisdictions, be seen to be welcome by the constabulary across the province for those reasons?

Mr Brittan: I think there are, as we find in the general population, some misunderstandings about photo-radar and how it might work and what it will do. But generally speaking, I think we will find a very positive reaction. Certainly those police officers within the OPP -- and I've been working with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police -- receive the concept of photo-radar and the ingredients of Bill 47 in a very positive way.

Mr White: You're indicating as well that a lot of attention has been diverted from traffic safety in the last while. With technology like this, would the efficiency of this kind of technology then allow for the maintenance of that kind of division of labour, so that police officers, after the introduction of photo-radar when it has been tried out, could spend more time fighting crime, taking a fair bit of the time they would otherwise be spending at the roadside pulling over vehicles?

Mr Brittan: While we don't have any personal experience here in the province of Ontario yet with photo-radar, and of course that's part of the purpose of our pilot, if I could refer you to a recent article on November 29 in the Ottawa Citizen with reference to the Calgary experience -- I believe that was mentioned at our last meeting -- it's reported that the Calgary police service reports that it increases the efficiency of a single officer up to 200 times.

Mr White: Two hundred? That's substantive.

Mr Brittan: If we could have that sort of gain here in this province, that should have a remarkable effect on our allocation of police resources.

Mr White: I'm wondering as well, as I see in my colleague's notes --

The Acting Chair: Mr White. We'll move to Mr Daigeler.

Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): With all due respect to Mr White, we didn't really establish a formal process, but --

The Acting Chair: I understand that you have not.

Mr Daigeler: -- I think we should give everybody else an opportunity to ask some questions because we have only until 12 o'clock. I know the questions are important, but I think everybody else has some important questions as well.

Mr White: Mr Daigeler, I don't recall you --

The Acting Chair: Please, Mr White, would you address the Chair? This is not a conversation; it's a committee meeting.

Mr White: Thank you, Mr Chair. Through the Chair to your colleague, Mr Chair, I recall that the last time we had extensive debate and speechmaking. We spent the better part of the afternoon -- the full day, in fact -- avoiding these important issues.

I, sir, am only attempting to explore what my constituents consider to be important issues, understanding what this legislation is about, understanding the safety implications of this. Certainly I don't recall there being objections by any of the opposition members to that speechmaking, nor did the government members.


Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): But you voted to support time allocation.


The Acting Chair: Members of the committee, please. Mr White, would you proceed? You have a few moments.

Mr White: Thank you very much, Mr Chair.

Mr David Turnbull (York Mills): On a point of order, Mr Chair: I would just put on record at this point that the subcommittee unanimously agreed that there wasn't sufficient time to study this --

Mr White: That's already been on record.

Mr Turnbull: -- and in fact it was the government's motion that cut off the time. You can't have it both ways.

Mr White: I'm attempting to explore important issues, not get involved in partisan debate here.

The Acting Chair: Ms Mathyssen, did you wish to speak?

Mrs Irene Mathyssen (Middlesex): I believe we should establish some time lines, because as I recall, last week Mr Turnbull had almost the entire afternoon. Very clearly, it's important that one member of the committee not be given inordinate amounts of time today, as happened last week. That was most unfortunate, and I think we should come to some kind of agreement regarding this.

The Acting Chair: Mr Fletcher, on the same point?

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): I agree with my colleague. I think perhaps 10 minutes per caucus, and rotate around each 10 minutes.

Interjection: Twenty.

Mr Fletcher: Or 20 minutes; whatever.

The Acting Chair: Twenty minutes?

Mr Fletcher: Consensus is fine with me. In all fairness, I think everyone should have some time.

The Acting Chair: Do the members agree to that allocation at this time? Everyone? Proceed, Mr White.

Mr White: Fine, thank you. I'll wrap up quickly then, because we have an agreement of 20 minutes per caucus.

Mr Fletcher: You have five minutes left.

Mr Grandmaître: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr White: Thank you very much, Mr Chair. The issue I want to bring up from my friend Mr Dadamo's notes on an earlier presentation is that the police will decide, "based upon a range of factors such as weather, road conditions and traffic volume," at what speed the photo-radar would click in or the tickets would be issued at. In terms of that issue, at the first bad weather of the year, I'm always amazed at the number of people who go zipping along the 401, or whatever major artery, at excessive speeds, and by "excessive speeds" I mean the speed limit, because these are not times when it's safe to do so. When everyone else is, even along the 401, proceeding at 40 kilometres an hour or so, some people go zipping by, with bald tires. These are the things that strike me as being of real concern. How would we see these factors being weighted in, as Mr Dadamo indicates, this very important road safety issue?

Mr Brittan: No enforcement tool or police officer can charge a person with a speeding offence if they're not speeding, regardless of the weather, but there are other sections of the Highway Traffic Act that can be used to address persons who, while certainly within the speed limit, are ignoring the obvious hazards associated with weather. I think that's the point you're referring to.

Mr White: Yes.

Mr Brittan: Typically, when people find themselves in winter collisions or collisions as a result of icy road conditions and the investigating officer is of the opinion that the driver certainly should have known they were going faster than they should be for road conditions, but less than the speed limit or not speeding, there is another charge that's very frequently used, and that's careless driving. Certainly -- I can speak from personal experience -- that's a very appropriate charge. The penalty, mind you, is significantly greater, typically, than the penalty for speeding, but it's a very effective section in the Highway Traffic Act which covers that scenario.

Mr White: Is it often used for those situations that Mr Dadamo described?

Mr Brittan: It's frequently used.

Mr White: One final question in terms of the public relations issue: Obviously, as I've indicated at the outset and as we know from the public discourse on this legislation, there is an important, very valuable need for public relations with regard to speed. Superintendent Brittan, your bumper stickers and slogans I think are an important part of that. Is the OPP, is the Solicitor General's ministry, proceeding with some form of public relations program so people are aware of the tremendous danger speed poses and the value of regulatory legislation like this?

Mr Brittan: That's a very good question. In partnership, the Ministry of the Solicitor General and corrections, the Ministry of Transportation and the Attorney General are presently engaged in designing a significant program to help educate the drivers in Ontario with respect to not just photo-radar, I should say, but with respect to the graduated driver's licence program, the RIDE program, the need to keep people reminded about wearing their seatbelts, and photo-radar. We have staff and we are funded and we are developing this program, which we plan to present to the people of Ontario early next year.

Mr White: Thank you very much, superintendent.

The Acting Chair: Thank you. Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): To the superintendent, probably; you seem to be bearing the brunt of this. Are you aware of whether the Metropolitan Toronto Police Association took a vote on this issue?

Mr Brittan: No, sir, I have no knowledge of that.

Mr David Johnson: No knowledge? Okay. I've of course been approached by a number of people on this topic of photo-radar. The problem, I can tell you, is that not one of them who has approached me has been in support.

It was interesting. A couple of weeks ago, a class came in, and we get our photograph taken with the class. On that particular day, photo-radar was being debated in the House, and I happened to mention that and talked to the kids about it. I could see, out of the corner of my eye, the teacher's face going very sour. I turned my attention to her and she, with hardly any prompting at all, laid out her thoughts. She thought this was very pervasive and Orwellian and she hoped it wouldn't go through. I found that very interesting, and it was totally unprompted.

That's the kind of reaction I'm getting from people who come up to me and tell me about it. I think a lot of the problem will boil down to, in the end, what sort of speeds you intend to enforce that at. You've indicated that it depends on the various road conditions, that sort of thing, but perhaps you can give us a more specific indication, because people are going to want to know this.

Let's take Highway 400 going north, perhaps on a Friday night, a clear night, no rain, people going to the cottage, that sort of thing. Right now there's the general impression that if you're under 120 you're okay. I don't know if that's true or not, but that certainly is the impression that's out there. Would the photo-radar enforce at below 120?

Mr Brittan: I'd like first to refer to the issue about the comments of the general public, because I too am receiving unsolicited telephone calls from all over Ontario. Frankly, I'm learning that people are not that well-informed with respect to how photo-radar is proposed to work in Ontario. I discover that the people I'm talking to, once they realize how photo-radar is going to work and once they're properly informed, are saying: "Sounds fine to me. I have no problem with that."

Yesterday, as a new experience for me in my lifetime, I appeared on a live radio program with an audience which, frankly, was very chilly at the outset. Before we finished, I think they were beginning to realize that the concept of photo-radar, which is being characterized as Orwellian and other phrases that have been attached to this in the Ontario media -- I think it's because people, the media included, don't necessarily understand how photo-radar will be operated.

In answering your next question, I think we can begin to set people's minds at ease. I should also say that there are certain kinds of people, if I dare classify people at all, but typically we might expect to find them among our younger drivers, who will never be satisfied that photo-radar is a useful tool, no matter what we say. We might remember, when we were younger, how we felt about motorcycle helmets and how this impinged on our individual rights and freedoms to kill ourselves in any way we wished. We might remember, when we were younger, how upset we were about the fact that we had to wear seatbelts -- we couldn't imagine that seatbelts could possibly save our lives -- and how offended we were that the government would impose a law on us that would actually tell us what we had to do in the privacy of our own cars. So I do believe sincerely that there will be people who will never see merit in photo-radar. Be that as it may, we'll live with that.


Mr David Johnson: I wonder if you could address my question. Time is evaporating.

Mr Brittan: I will. I think that Mr Dadamo, in his statement last week, indicated two key things.

One is that police officers always had and always will have discretion in establishing how the tools they are provided by the government will be used. By "discretion," I mean that police officers or people who are sworn as provincial offences officers who operate photo-radar will make decisions on the scene, taking into account the weather conditions, taking into account the volumes of traffic, taking into account a number of factors, having received advice from the Ministry of Transportation with respect to the accident rates, the incidence of injuries and deaths on certain pieces of highways. That's how these kinds of decisions will be arrived at.

Mr David Johnson: I'm describing the conditions to you, though. Try to set all that aside --

Mr Brittan: In the exact case you've described, I'd prefer to use Mr Dadamo's other scenario, and that's the 85th-percentile rule. Remembering that we cannot remove the officer's discretion or the provincial offences officer's discretion, the 85th-percentile rule might well apply, that being that we would assess and determine -- and the photo-radar device will give us the tool to do this. It's measuring the speed of every vehicle that passes, even though they may not be speeding or they may be speeding marginally above the limit. Once we've ascertained the speed limit of 85% of the traffic, then we can make a determination as to where to set the device so that it captures photographs of speeders in the top 15%.

To use your precise example, if 85% of the traffic in the scenario you've described was travelling 120 or less, then 15% of the traffic would be travelling faster, and that's the group photo-radar would address: the aggressive driver, the driver who irritates the other drivers.

Mr David Johnson: Would that mean that in certain circumstances it's possible that 15% of the vehicles would receive tickets? I'm having a hard time getting my mind around that. If 15% of the vehicles were to receive tickets, if that's possible -- and I'm sure you would come back and say no, that wouldn't happen in all circumstances -- but if even any number approaching that were to receive tickets, I think you'd have one awful public relations problem.

Mr Brittan: That's possible, but frankly, we wouldn't be meeting our objective. You see, the objective is to reduce the incidence of speeding, because if we can reduce the incidence of speeding, we know the positive benefits that can flow from that.

If I were sitting on the roadside under the scenario you've described with a photo-radar device and if 85% of the vehicles were going by me 20 kilometres over the speed limit, I'd be extremely disappointed. Frankly, I find that hard to imagine.

Mr David Johnson: But you're saying that's possible, that 15% of the vehicles could.

Mr Brittan: Theoretically.

Mr David Johnson: I guess you're saying that if 85% of the vehicles were travelling at 110 kilometres or less, then the 15% that would be travelling at over 110 kilometres would also be susceptible to tickets.

Mr Brittan: I think that's quite possible. Statistically, I'd like to suggest to you that in the state of Victoria in Australia, in December 1989, about 1.6% of vehicles travelling on photo-radar highways were travelling 30 kilometres or more over the speed limit. When photo-radar was introduced on a widespread basis, a much larger basis -- in fact, on day one they began with 50 photo-radar mobile machines and 20 in intersection control -- by March 1992, they had reduced the incidence of speeders 30 kilometres or more in excess of the speed limit from 1.6% to just barely over 0.5%. If you examine that, that's a very significant reduction in the incidence of speeders significantly over the speed limit.

Mr David Johnson: Not many people would argue about those who are travelling at 40 or 50 kilometres over the speed limit, that sort of thing, but it's the bulk of the people who may be travelling much closer to the speed limit. There is a perception, and I'm sure you recognize it, that particularly on clear days, with no ice or snow or rain problems, many people do travel just above the speed limit, and if they happen to fall into that 15% and receive tickets in great numbers, then I think there's going to be a big problem.

You have also indicated that there's going to be a pilot project during which the mechanism will be staffed, and that's your intention. If that is successful, what is your view in the longer term beyond that, again in terms of having the mechanism without staff? Have you ruled that out? Are you saying that nowhere in the future do you see the possibility, even if the pilot project is successful, of having the mechanism, the photo-radar, not being staffed?

Mr Brittan: During the six-month pilot program, the OPP proposes to staff with uniformed sworn police officers. Subsequent to the pilot, assuming we're successful, and we certainly hope we will be, we think there might be less expensive ways to staff photo-radar because this likely may not be the best use in the long term of a sworn police officer. At the present time, we have not seriously considered the installation of photo-radar units for highway speed control in unattended situations.

Mr David Johnson: You have not at the present time, but this is the purpose they're designed, as I understand it, to be put up on a pole or something and left unmanned. I find it a bit curious that you wouldn't even contemplate that. Certainly there's a perception out there that what you would be gearing towards in the long run is precisely what these things are manufactured for, to stick them up on a pole and have them pick off the 15% who are beyond the 85th percentile. Is that not even a remote possibility? Are you telling us here that under no circumstances would that happen?

Mr Brittan: No, sir. Technology has been changing and has been improving. For example, in the 20-years-plus history of photo-radar in Europe, photo-radar began in a static setting in an armoured box which is heated in the wintertime and air-conditioned in the summertime, and that is still a strategy that's available to us. Today's photo-radar is designed to work not only in a static mode in a given location but is designed to be operated in a mobile mode. While we are presently in the tendering process for photo-radar units for Ontario, it's our expectation that the equipment we ultimately buy will be able to operate both statically and mobile. That significantly enhances the influence the device will have.

Other than apprehending visitors to our province, there's very little advantage in putting photo-radar in static locations so that the customary daily traffic knows exactly where it is. Then the only people static locations capture photographically are visitors, and we don't see that as an attractive strategy for the province of Ontario. However, I am not saying we will never do it, because we may experiment in a variety of ways and that may turn out, in some locations, to be a practical strategy.

Mr David Johnson: On the first day, it was indicated that this is not a revenue grab. Somebody, I think perhaps the parliamentary assistant, said there would be signs indicating that it was in operation. What you're saying now I think is somewhat the reverse of that. You're saying there's little benefit in having the photo-radar in a static location, that it would only enforce on visitors, that type of thing. So I'm a little confused.

Is the public going to be made aware of where these are operational? Are they going to be made aware that they're operational just in a general sense in the province of Ontario on any street, or are they going to be made aware that in this specific stretch of road for the next five kilometres, "Beware of photo-radar"? How is the general public going to be made aware of the situation?


Mr Brittan: I think that's a very valid point. Perhaps I could help the members understand the rationale behind the issue of signage and the issue of advising the public where photo-radar is located. I'm quite certain that the Ministry of Transportation's strategy in conjunction with the integrated safety project is to sign on a general basis. Let me explain to you the rationale for that.

Envision a section of Highway 400, perhaps by Canada's Wonderland because I can relate to that, and imagine we put a sign on the roadside, perhaps a permanent sign or an electronic sign that says, "Photo-radar ahead," and imagine it's a Friday evening and we're travelling north. You could intuitively understand that this will have little if any benefit. In fact, this can have a very negative effect, because what this can create is a sudden slowing of traffic in multiple lanes, the possibility of rear-end collisions, the likelihood of disruption of the traffic flow.

The concept of attaching a sign and then a quarter of a kilometre or some distance down the road having a photo-radar unit will only encourage the driver to slow down, and then presumably his behaviour will return to what it was when he passes.

It seems to us, having considered this carefully, that the strategies employed in New Zealand and the strategies employed in Australia, where they sign on a general basis -- if we tell all drivers everywhere, "Photo-radar is in use in Ontario," it will have the greatest positive impact, because drivers must modify their behaviour because they don't know exactly where it's going to be.

From a police perspective -- after all, our objective is to modify the behaviour, reduce the incidence of speeding, reduce injuries and deaths; that's our only objective -- frankly, if we can slow everybody down everywhere, the benefits will be fully realized.

Mr David Johnson: I can understand how that would be your response, but it does rather counter the statement I believe I heard, and I think it was from the parliamentary assistant, that people would be made well aware of this situation. That certainly wasn't what I had in mind by being fully informed.

Mr Brittan: I don't think I've countered his position at all. I'm sure all citizens of Ontario will be fully aware, and I might say we'll also make sure that our visitors to Ontario are aware, just as we do with seatbelts.

Mr David Johnson: Would this be applied to any kind of street, road, highway in the province of Ontario, or would there be certain kinds of situations where it would be much more likely or much less likely? For example, I think we've talked about Highway 400. I guess we all agree that would be a good area to put it, at least from the point of view of revenue, but could it also be used on the Gardiner Expressway? Would it be used on local streets? Where do you see it being implemented?

Mr Brittan: I assume you're asking about after the pilot program, and the answer to that is yes. Photo-radar is a tool that can be used in a positive way anywhere you have traffic that might choose to exceed the speed limit: school zones, hospital zones etc.

Mr David Johnson: In the case of the five teenagers, the tragic case you mentioned, what sort of street was that on?

Mr Brittan: It was a provincial highway.

Mr David Johnson: One of the major highways?

Mr Brittan: It was a two-lane highway.

Mr David Johnson: We're aware, unfortunately, of the accident back in the spring in Caledon, where a number of young people were at some sort of party on a back road. I just have difficulty seeing you placing photo-radar on a road such as that. There wouldn't be the traffic there. I'm just wondering what kind of impact this might have in a situation like that. Many of the roads that might be unsafe in Ontario would not necessarily be the major highways, the 400s, the 401s, but would be the back roads where there are blind curves or hills or that sort of thing. I'm wondering if you can assure us what sort of attention those kinds of roads would get through the photo-radar system.

Mr Brittan: I appeared at the most recent inquest at the request of the coroner to discuss the government's commitment to road safety and photo-radar. I return to your earlier question about signage and about the impression we must create on all drivers in Ontario that photo-radar might be found anywhere. In the Caledon scenario -- due to my involvement as a witness, I became fully aware of the dynamics of the Caledon scenario -- there's no question in my mind that if it was understood by Ontario's drivers that photo-radar might be found anywhere, including provincial highways, including regional municipality highways and roads, both multilane and two-lane, if there was a general understanding that photo-radar could be found anywhere, at any time, it might very well have influenced what occurred on that day.

However, speed was not the only factor which touched on that particular incident in Caledon; there were other factors as well. But I personally feel satisfied that if there's a general understanding and impression, we might very well see a positive influence on that kind of event.

Mr David Johnson: Superintendent, we've had radar enforcement by airplane for many years in Ontario, and that's generally well-known. You run across streets in just about all parts of the province where it indicates that there's that sort of enforcement. I wonder why that wouldn't have had a greater impact. It doesn't seem to have had the same impact that you believe that photo-radar will have.

Mr Brittan: I'm impressed that the member still thinks we're using aircraft. However, that is not the case.

Mr Grandmaître: The signs are still there.

Mr Brittan: That's correct. We haven't taken down the signs, but the Ministry of Transportation is not renewing the white bars. I think it's important for you to know why we've suspended our aircraft program, which, by the way, had no radar component; it was a mechanical stopwatch. It was because it was extremely labour-intensive in terms of the number of ground units that had to be dedicated to the single aircraft.

Let me give you an example. An aircraft, which is costing us for the pilot, the aircraft itself and the observer flying in a circle over a piece of highway, could capture so many violators that it took sometimes four, six, eight or 10 members of the OPP operating on the highway to write the tickets. Subsequently, many of them had to go to trial. In many of them, the offender entered a not guilty plea and never appeared at trial. That meant we had to send our police officer, at expense to the public, most often on overtime, for no reason at all.

Over the years, the labour costs of aircraft enforcement finally reached the point where, in terms of allocating our resources, we made a decision -- in fact, I was one of the participants in that decision -- several years ago to suspend that program in favour of the moving radar device which is installed in hundreds of OPP vehicles and still is there today and will continue to be used.

Mr David Johnson: I can understand that it would be very expensive, but my point was that the knowledge that that sort of system was in place didn't seem to have the impact you're hoping for.

Mr Brittan: And there was a very good reason for that, sir, and I must remind you. It's because drivers, again except for visitors to this province -- and having worked aircraft radar personally as a constable, I can tell you that many of the people who got caught unfortunately were from Michigan and Ohio. The people who lived in Ontario knew how to recognize the locations where aircraft were being used, and they very correctly slowed down, and of course they accelerated after they left the zone, sometimes with not so complimentary observations to officers on the roadside. I remember that well, unfortunately.

Mr David Johnson: I have a copy of the 1992 annual report of the Metropolitan Toronto Police. It shows in here, as you've indicated, that various offences are up. Break and enter is generally up, year after year; it's down one year, but generally the trend is up. Sexual assaults are up, non-sexual assaults are up, robberies are up, but it shows clearly that the traffic accidents in Metropolitan Toronto have been declining from 75,000 in 1988 down to -- it's still a big number, but down to 57,000 in 1992. Essentially, there's been quite a downward trend. It shows that the injury accidents and persons injured are also declining in Metropolitan Toronto, from almost 19,000 in 1988 down to 11,000 in 1992. In this case, there's been a decline every year. The trend seems to be one that we would all endorse, that the accident rates in Metropolitan Toronto have been going down.


With that as a background, it seems that with the measures that have been in place, at least here in Metropolitan Toronto -- I don't have the equivalent for the province of Ontario -- the experience has been getting better and better. It again raises the question of why this sort of enforcement technique is required, one about which, as you've indicated yourself, there's a great deal of hostility.

Mr Brittan: No, sir, I'm sorry, I didn't mean hostility; a misunderstanding.

Mr David Johnson: That may be open to interpretation. If we start picking off the top 15th percentile, I think there may indeed be hostility. With that background, isn't this the wrong time? Do we really need it? Our accident rate is improving without it.

Mr Brittan: I'm sure my friend from the Ministry of Transportation can comment on what we perceive to be a decline. I'd like to give an observation on that and then comment.

Within OPP jurisdiction, we too are observing an extremely modest decline in the gross number of collisions. Unfortunately, the total number of fatalities, as I recall, is somewhat flat; it's staying around the 1,100 mark. We've given great thought to why there could be this decline, as small as it is.

We'd like to take credit for that. We'd like to be able to say it's because of our aggressive traffic safety campaigns and the fact that our dedicated men and women are out there writing tickets every day. But of course when we look statistically, as I've already told you, our ticket volumes are down very significantly.

We've concluded why we think there might be a decline. My friend might have other evidence, but anecdotally, we think it has to do with the economic times. We think it has to do with the fact that people are driving fewer miles, people are travelling shorter distances, people are using forms of public transit or pooling up. While we have no evidence to support this, and I could be absolutely wrong, that's our personal feeling, and it's fairly widespread among police managers. We think that could be the reason we're seeing this slight decline.

Finally, I'd like to say that 1,100 lives lost in this province and 90,000 people injured is still far too many. In fact, if you were sitting and making decisions with respect to legislation that could save even one life, it seems to me you would have a compelling reason to do that. Whether we're seeing, for some serendipitous reason, a decline which maybe we can attribute to exactly this or that -- all I can say is I'm thankful for it, but none the less, 1,100 people killed and 90,000 people injured is far too many, and something needs to be done.

Mr Daigeler: Obviously, all of these questions, including the ones that were asked and hopefully are going to still be asked -- that they get an opportunity from the members of the government side -- I think are important ones. That's one of the purposes of at least holding these minimal hearings, I think, to clarify some of these issues and some of the concerns.

As I indicated last week, the parliamentary assistant addressed some of the questions that have been raised in the public mind, and some of the answers were provided.

One of the problems I find, why we are in the state we're in right now surrounding this bill, is that I don't think we ever received -- by "we" I mean the opposition parties and the public -- a proper, well-developed briefing package on this matter. That includes a package that spells out the statistics that show the relationship between this photo-radar measure and safety concerns in other countries.

We are being assured orally that this is the case, but when I get letters from the public, when I get calls from the public, I like to send them hard facts on paper and let people make up their own minds. That would be my first request to the parliamentary assistant: Even though we're finishing this, I still would appreciate some statistics, something on paper that shows what in fact has happened. Is there a direct relationship between photo-radar and public safety in other countries, and what is it precisely? There must be statistics available, because they're being referred to. I include the European countries in that as well. That's a request to the parliamentary assistant.

My first question to the parliamentary assistant: You made a lot of the fact, at least last week, that this is just a pilot project, that, "We just want to try something out," and you seemed to be backpedalling on the potential long-term life of this initiative. If you're just trying to see how it affects safety and you want to see how it all works, why didn't you test it out simply as a pilot project without the enforcement of the law? Occasionally it happens, for parking infractions and so on, other minor infractions, that you get a friendly warning and they say to you: "Please realize that you're in the wrong place at the wrong time," or you're doing this or that. "Here's a warning. We're doing this as a courtesy right now but as of three months later, or whatever, we're going to be serious." Frankly, at least on me, this has quite an impact. If you're just wanting to do a pilot project, why don't you do that on a friendly reminder basis first, try it out, and send people a note in the mail that says, "You have been speeding."

Mr Fletcher: We caught you.

Mr Daigeler: "We caught you. Here's the evidence. We advise you that if you keep doing that, you might very soon be seriously affected by this, but this is just a warning." If all of this works and you're satisfied with your experiment, why not bring it in then as a bill?

Mr Dadamo: I don't backpedal on anything. People who know me know that I like to tell it the way it is. I think you and some of your colleagues have alleged in the last little while, both in the Legislature and on this floor, that this is a tax grab. I don't think this is a tax grab. If you want to see a tax grab, wait till your budget in Ottawa in the next couple of months and then we'll talk about a tax grab.

In terms of a six-month pilot project, we don't want you to lose sight of the fact that that's exactly what it is. A six-month pilot project on the streets of the province of Ontario to watch what speeders are going to do is no different from a pilot project we have with the casino in the city of Windsor, that I represent. If it doesn't work in six months, we'll gladly withdraw it. We've said that in the Legislature, we've said that here, and we say it again. It's not meant to be a tax grab.

But I think it must be said that while we go into a six-month pilot project mode, starting hopefully in January of next year, we bring the police on side and therefore we bring the seriousness of what's happening on the streets. They work together: If you don't bring the police into the project, I don't think people are going to take you seriously. Think about it. We're talking about speeding; we're talking about people killing themselves on the highway because they happen to go over the speed limit. You've seen signs; you've seen the bumper stickers that say, "Speed kills." I want you to take that extremely seriously.

Mr Daigeler: I think we've established one fact, that you are saying this is an experiment. All I am saying is that if it is an experiment, why change an act right now? Why not make it an experiment? Obviously, the notification would still come from the police; the police would still be involved. All I am saying is, couldn't this have been done as a pilot project without the full force of the law, without changing all of this and getting everybody upset, without getting the proper information and being able to show that it works? You probably would have saved yourself a lot of aggravation if you had proceeded in that way. Be that as it may, I'm just making that as a proposal. Obviously, it's too late unless the government is willing to withdraw it.


You are referring to the fact that this is not a revenue grab. Well, perhaps you would care to comment on that article that appeared in your own magazine, Topical, where a senior official in the government referred to this measure as a revenue measure and that this would be a good example of how the government can collect more money. Nobody has responded to it. You have an opportunity to set the record straight, because it isn't just us who have been saying that.

Mr Dadamo: Let me say it is and always has been part of the safety initiative that we as the government have been working on for the last couple of years. I don't need to sit here and preach to you or anybody who's listening that this is part of the graduated licensing system, part of the bicycle helmets, and it goes on and on. This is part of a safety package. I'm not here to dispute what someone in the ministry has said, because I haven't heard the comment nor have I had a chance to talk to this particular person; I don't know who it is. It's part of the safety initiative. I know that you know that.

Forgive me, but I need to go back to the seriousness of this whole matter and how you're alluding to the fact that we can't draw the police into this. If somebody --

Mr Daigeler: That's not what I said.

Mr Dadamo: Just a second now. If somebody's 45 or 50 kilometres over the speed limit on the QEW at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and we send them a picture in the mail a week later and say, "Ha, ha, we're only joking," and there's no fine attached, how seriously would they take us? I don't think there's a government in this province that would have taken it in that direction or tackled it in that way. I think seriousness becomes a real operative here and I think you need to think about that.

Mr Daigeler: Obviously, a pilot project is not as serious as the final step, and all I'm saying is that if I were the minister I think I would have looked at that. But it's up to you to decide on this matter.

The officer and the parliamentary assistant as well referred several times and objected to the use of the term "Orwellian" around this. It may be a bit strong, but it isn't just us on the opposition side who have been saying this. In that famous letter from the Information and Privacy Commissioner, he uses that too. He is very concerned about the privacy implications of this particular government initiative.

Perhaps you can set some of my worries at ease. Are we going to photograph the front licence plate or the back licence plate? In some other jurisdictions it's the back licence plate, and some of the worries about identifying some of the people may not be as strong as if you are taking a picture of the front licence plate. Could you tell me what is planned?

Mr Brittan: I have to accept some responsibility for the position that the privacy commissioner of Ontario took. I met with his executive staff on at least two occasions and I presented some examples of 8 by 10 colour photographs that were obtained from other jurisdictions outside Ontario. What I didn't realize was that they interpreted those as being representative of what is sent to the violator. I intend to apologize to the privacy commissioner, because I think I left his staff with the impression that every violator in Ontario gets a beautiful 8 by 10 colour glossy of the scenery and the vehicle and whatever might be seen in the background.

Of course, it's important to provide the plate holder with some context so they can clearly see where the vehicle was being operated when it was photographed, and I should tell you the privacy commissioner's executive staff concurred with that. There's no point sending somebody a photograph of their vehicle and having blanked out the context, because you couldn't ascertain where the picture was taken.

We did come to an understanding on that, and I'm pleased to be able to tell you today -- and I'm expecting to be able to meet again with privacy commissioner's executive staff -- that we feel fairly confident that the reproduction of the photograph we will be providing to violators in Ontario will be in a black and white photocopy format, a much smaller dimension than an 8 by 10 glossy colour, much smaller but certainly adequate to help the violator identify clearly, "Yes, that's my car, and yes, that's clearly my licence plate," and they'll be able to see some contextual image in the photograph to help them remember, "Yes, I was on the Queen Elizabeth and I remember going past that particular location."

Mr Daigeler: Is it front or back?

Mr Brittan: I was just about to come to that. It's our intention to photograph the rear plate. However, the technology of photo-radar is changing rapidly, and one of the reasons rear-plate photography has been seized on as the most advantageous is because white flash light, a white light, has to be used, or has had to be used, to illuminate the plate. This white light is used in the daytime and at night too. It's a strobe light, and this can be bothersome to some drivers.

However, in recent months technology has changed. We're led to understand that some manufacturers-inventors of photo-radar equipment are now using infrared light, which is not visible to drivers. It is possible that a vendor will propose to our photo-radar project photography equipment which uses infrared, which will not be visible to the driver. If circumstances such as that were to arise, we would feel much more comfortable photographing either the front or the back.

Mr Daigeler: I'll accede to Mr Grandmaître. If there's time, I'll come back.

Mr Grandmaître: Superintendent, I'd like to talk about our changing society and also policing in the province of Ontario. It seems to me that I'm hearing contradicting messages. Only a short while ago Susan Eng was before the government agencies committee telling us what Metro intends to do in the next 12 months; that the presence of police officers on the streets of Toronto and in Metro should be seen more often and that they talk to people, because 75% of the solutions to crimes are apparently found by personal contacts with officers walking the beat.

It seems to me that policing in the province will be operating like our banks pretty soon: We will never see the manager; we'll use plastic, get our money, walk out of the bank and never see the bank manager.

If it is part, as pointed out by the parliamentary assistant -- which is contradicting himself because he said in his presentation that photo-radar will work in the province of Ontario as it has in other jurisdictions around the world -- why have a pilot project? Why don't you just do it? What is happening with policing in the province of Ontario? Are we trying to get away from this personal contact?

Mr Brittan: I think that's a very good question, sir, and I appreciate your asking it because it gives me an opportunity to give you a state-of-the-art perspective.

I cannot comment with respect to the Metropolitan Toronto Police Service because, other than what I read in the newspaper, I'm really not qualified to comment. But I can comment with respect to the Ontario Provincial Police because I've worked on strategic planning committees and, as the director of the operational policy and planning branch, I've had some significant say with respect to future directions in OPP policing.

It is clearly the intention of the OPP, and it has been expressed at every management level and every single employee is aware of it, that we are moving our people back to the street, back to the citizens of Ontario, through our aggressive community policing program which is operating in virtually every community in Ontario and which, I must say, is being supported admirably by community resources.

Photo-radar, as a tool, helps to facilitate and helps to make possible further improvements in our community policing program. If I might just say, if we can introduce devices which are labour-effective and free up people who right now are forced to sit on the side of the highway in individual police cars, working with a hand-held radar unit, flagging down speeding motorists as they pass, if we can free these people and return them to the community, which, by the way, is the strategy and the intention of the OPP, if we can turn these people to other kinds of aggressive driving behaviour that we've referred to before, the tailgaters, the improper lane changers -- and these are the things our communities are telling us they want addressed -- then we will be meeting exactly the heart of the comments you've just made. I'm very pleased to be able to tell you that photo-radar, as a tool, will be able to help us further enhance our community policing program.


Mr Grandmaître: But you just pointed out tailgating and changing lanes and so on and so forth. This will not be part of your photo-radar, right? The government is instituting a program to diminish the speeds on our highways, but your photo-radar program will not prevent the drunken driver, the driver who's tailgating, switching lanes.

Mr Brittan: Your observation is absolutely correct. But what it does -- and perhaps I haven't clearly articulated what it does -- is that it frees up officers who are involved in labour-intensive forms of speed control today. I've used as the example the hand-held radar, which requires one unit sitting on the roadside with the officer with the radar, and two or three or four units down the road, the officer out of the car with his radio, microphone back and forth, flagging down the yellow Pontiac that's in the centre lane. What photo-radar does is that it releases those individuals to other, more important work, exactly as you've just described.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm pleased that you've pointed this out, because we keep talking about photo-radar but I think we should be addressing the total safety of our highways. I know it's part of some program, but we haven't seen this program. People would be better educated if this full package, this full program, was before a committee to educate people on what are the stages of our total safety package. Maybe we would better understand all about photo-radar, because as you pointed out, people are not very well informed about the photo-radar program.

I'm simply saying that if you want to free up officers -- and as a former police commission chair for 13 years, I can understand that you want to free up people to do other things, less labour-intensive. I can understand this. This is why this side of this House has a terrible time understanding, because we haven't seen the total safety package.

I know it's not your responsibility. It's the government's responsibility to provide us with a total package and to stage it, or simply inform this committee what the future of policing speeding on our highways is all about. Maybe we would better understand the photo-radar program.

Mr Brittan: Photo-radar is only one component of a coordinated and integrated highway safety program. I'd like to defer to my friend from the Ministry of Transportation, who I think can offer you more insight into that broader program.

Mr Hughes: In response to the comment about the government's overall road safety strategy, the government is developing a road safety agenda, and we'll be coming forward early in the new year with a comprehensive document which lays out a five-year strategy with a stated goal, which you've heard publicly several times already, of making Ontario's roads the safest roads in North America.

If I can make perhaps a few comments on that, the reason we're getting into this is that despite the comments you heard earlier about the downward trend in fatalities and injuries -- and there are reasons for that, some of them economic, some of them because of safer vehicles, some of them because of safer roads. That is good news, that we're on a 10-year downward trend, or stabilizing trend at least. In fact, Canada is fifth-best in the world when it comes to road safety statistics and Ontario is the fourth-best jurisdiction in Canada.

But the bad news, as the superintendent alluded to earlier, is that we still have one person every eight hours being killed on Ontario's roads, and 90,000 injured. The price-tag for this -- and we're all concerned with price and costs these days -- based on a recent research study we've done in my branch, is $9 billion annually. That's a huge figure.

We're concerned with the overall public attitude and social attitude about the acceptance of this level of carnage on the roads. Despite the fact that relative to other countries and provinces we look good and things are moving in the right direction slowly, there is an acceptance of the inevitability of road trauma. Because we know from past studies that 85% of collisions are due to driver error, we know that they're not inevitable and that they can be prevented.

Thus the road safety agenda and thus the value of things like graduated licensing and photo-radar, not just because they're good in and of themselves, which they are from a road safety point of view, but because they're part of a bigger package, long-term, which we hope, with the continual bombardment through the media and through public visibility of these programs and the concern over road safety, will change social attitudes. Changing social attitudes will translate into changing driver behaviour over the long term.

We know this is possible. We've seen it happen with smoking; we've seen it happen specifically with drinking and driving. We know it can be done. It requires a big investment; it requires a long-term strategy. As I say, the big pieces that you've heard about recently, graduated licensing and photo-radar and the integrated safety project, are the first pieces of this agenda.

Rather than delaying on the implementation of these things and holding off on the large umbrella announcement of the road safety strategy, we decided to move ahead on these quickly. But the road safety agenda itself is coming in the new year, and there will be documents and public statements and a whole public education and awareness campaign as part of the rollout of the road safety agenda.

As I say, in the long term and over a five- or 10-year period, what we really want to do is not only stop people from speeding and improve young drivers; what we want is for people to start taking driving seriously and responsibly and recognize it as the public health issue it really is. If we were killing 1,100 people a year with some other means, you can bet there'd be a great hue and cry for the government to do something about it.

So this is our response. Although we have a relatively good picture from a road safety point of view when we look around us at other jurisdictions and countries, we're not willing to accept the 1,100 lives and $9-billion price-tag annually.

The Acting Chair: Thank you, Mr Hughes, for representing MTO. Any brief comments regarding that?

Mr Grandmaître: I agree with you that social attitude is a big problem, and this is why we would like to see the total package of your safety features. I think the best way to change social attitude is by having people like the superintendent and other police officers present, especially in our schools, and to have better programs to educate our people.

Photo-radar may be better accepted by the general public if all of these things were well known to our public in Ontario. This is why people are saying this is a tax grab, because they don't know what the rest of the total package is which is sitting on your desk and not being distributed. I think social attitude can be changed, but it can be changed by talking to people and not by using more automated methods or machines. Machines can work very well, but if you want to change attitudes, you'd better talk to real people and not a robot.


The Acting Chair: That completes the time rotation. We have several other speakers. Could we limit ourselves to one question each and get all of the speakers in? Ms Mathyssen is next. Go ahead, please.

Mrs Mathyssen: My question is to Superintendent Brittan. I was listening very carefully when you were talking about the safety hazards that officers face stepping out of that cruiser.

I wondered, in light of some of the concerns we've heard in the recent past about the hand-held radar and officers experiencing elevated cancer because of using that device, if the photo-radar would serve to help in terms of reducing that contact? Precisely what kind of information do we have about the machine in terms of its safety?

The second part of the question: Would photo-radar help in terms of reducing the number of high-speed chases? We've had also a great deal of concern expressed about the dangers of the high-speed chase for the driver and the officer in pursuit. Could you comment on both of those, please?

Mr Brittan: Hand-held and other kinds of radar devices that are presently in use in Ontario, without exception, all meet the standards as established by the federal government and standards as established and monitored by the Ontario government's Ministry of Labour.

However, there is a nagging concern on the part of police officers that while our equipment meets or exceeds the requirements of all standards and is said not to be dangerous, and in fact we do not believe it is dangerous, there is a nagging concern that nobody seems to be able to resolve that there could be some long-term implications of the close proximity to hand-held and in-car radar devices. Because we can't really answer those concerns, except to say that there's no evidence that this could be injurious, there is less desire to use these tools, and it's difficult to argue with that.

In the case of photo-radar, the radar-emitting device is not in the vehicle. It's outside the vehicle. It's mounted outside the vehicle, typically. I couldn't say that every single manufacturer installs the radar-emitting device outside the vehicle, but certainly the ones I've looked at do. Frankly, I think your question's very astute, because there could be much less concern, if not no concern, about radar emissions. It's a very low-powered beam, it's a very finite beam, very narrow, and because the emitter is outside the vehicle, I think we could eliminate once and for all this personal, very rational concern, one for which we have no real answer.

Now, turning to your second question about high-speed pursuits, if I refer to my own experience, even though it's been some years since I was in the field, I did work in the field for many years and, yes, I did engage in pursuits under policies more liberal than we have today. As you probably know, there are very reasonable policies that have been implemented by the government with respect to the management of pursuits. When I did them, they were more liberal than they are today, but they still do have them.

What happens is that a speeder comes by, in the case of the traditional form of radar or speed enforcement that's used today, at a very high rate of speed, and even under today's guidelines can be perceived to be a criminal act. Some kinds of driving behaviour is immediately identified as a criminal act, as opposed to an infraction of the Highway Traffic Act, and therefore the police officer is authorized to engage in a high-speed pursuit. They do happen, and they are dangerous. They're dangerous not only to the person being pursued and the general public, but they're dangerous to our men and women, and that's a very real concern to us.

Traditional radar speed control, as we're using today, from time to time does result in a high-speed pursuit. In the case of photo-radar, there will never be a high-speed pursuit.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you. I think we should depend on the experience that you bring to the answers you've given.

Mr Turnbull: Mr Hughes, it's good to see you here at these hearings. When we talk about the 85th percentile of drivers, what would you say the speed on most provincial roads is typically, relative to the existing speed limit?

Mr Hughes: Perhaps the superintendent is more qualified to answer that question. The question was, what percentage of drivers obey the speed limit?

Mr Turnbull: Yes. We've been talking about the 85th percentile, and I'm curious. Notionally, I would suggest that on most country roads -- I mean highways, but not the main 400 series highways -- it would appear that typically people in fair weather are doing 95, perhaps even 100, on 80-kilometre roads. Between the two of you, whoever could answer that, and I'm leading to something, obviously.

Mr Hughes: I hesitate to give you a number because I really don't know and I'd just be guessing based on my own observation and experience. I'm not sure where you're heading with this, but a point I'd like to make about photo-radar and compliance is that we think photo-radar is a good safety initiative because it will reduce average speeds.

Mr Turnbull: Let me explain where I'm leading so you understand what I'm getting at. It has been suggested by some safety people, who are eminently more qualified than am I to comment on this, that perhaps the posted road speed is not the appropriate speed and that the 85th percentile of people are not complying with the speed limit today. That leads me to ask the question that if that is the case, what would be better in terms of safety --

Mr Hughes: We were headed in the same direction.

Mr Turnbull: Okay. What would be better: for us to raise the speed limit to a number, and let us hypothetically use, just for the sake of this discussion, 100 kilometres an hour on those which are currently 80-kilometre-an-hour roads and the 100-kilometre roads up to 120, if that happened to be what the 85th percentile was doing, and then strenuously enforce the speed limit above that, not at 20 kilometres over that but at perhaps five kilometres over that so that the penalties are so massive that only a complete fool would violate the speed limit? My question then revolves around: Would it have more effect in terms of safety? I understand from the safety people that the most problematic aspect of speed is the differential speed and people passing and pulling in, that that is a greater factor in accidents than speed in and of itself: differentials in speed.

Mr Hughes: I'd like to come at your observations maybe from a slightly different angle and then I'll come back to the speed differential question. As I was starting to say, we see photo-radar as a wonderful opportunity to reduce average speeds, and I've already talked earlier today about the correlation between speed and safety. We accept that and believe in it and we believe that if photo-radar can reduce average speeds it will definitely have an impact on safety.

So the question comes down to, how will photo-radar work better to reduce speeds than, say, the current situation? There are two major points here to make in terms of our confidence that photo-radar will increase the compliance rate with speed limits.


One of the advantages of working in safety policy and research is that you get to read a lot of stuff from all around the world and about the experiences of others. This is an enforcement effort, specifically an enforcement effort at reducing speeds, and two of the major factors that influence the success of enforcement efforts and the compliance rate of the travelling public are (1) the visibility and awareness of the program, and (2) the certainty of detection.

Mr Turnbull: I think you're going off in a different direction from the question I asked. Maybe I'll come at it in a slightly different way. Let us say we were rigidly to enforce with massive fines the present speed limit. What would then be the impact on our roads in terms of whether we can move the traffic volumes we have at the legal posted limits we have today? As I say, notionally I understand that the 85th percentile is doing significantly over the posted limits today.

You have to understand that in this discussion, with the opposition parties not being in favour of this legislation, we are in favour of safety measures, and John, you know the efforts I made with respect to graduated licences. We're concerned with doing the most logical and least intrusive action which will result in the greatest reduction in accidents. I'm very hard pressed to believe that the ministry doesn't have some figures on what the 85th percentile is doing in speeds. We've been bandying it around in some of the answers --

Mr Hughes: I'm sure we do; I just don't have them at my fingertips, but I'm sure we do have them.

Mr Turnbull: Perhaps Inspector Brittan has them.

Mr Brittan: Well, I'd like to reflect the attitude and philosophy of a police officer, a generic police officer. I think I can do that.

Mr Turnbull: First of all, could you maybe answer specifically --

Mr Brittan: I will. I'll come to the question. I think it's important for you to understand --

Mr Turnbull: We're very pressed for time. I'd like to start out with the information about what the 85th percentile is doing in terms of speed.

Mr Brittan: From a police officer's perspective, I wouldn't have any idea. I do know, from a police officer's perspective, that the speed laws in this province are set by someone and I'm hired to enforce them, and the Highway Traffic Act exists and gives me the authority to do that, and that's the only interest I have.

Mr Turnbull: Inspector, that was the reason I was addressing this question to Mr Hughes. I understand that your job is -- I cannot believe that the ministry would bring a so-called safety initiative forward if it didn't have some of the most elementary statistical information. In answers to both the opposition and the government members, there has been reference by the panel of gentlemen here to the 85th percentile, but now I'm asking you what that speed is and nobody seems to know.

My contention is that surely we could achieve much greater reduction in loss of life if we were to set the speed limits in good driving conditions and have a differential speed limit according to road conditions, which is done in some --

Mr Fletcher: We can't do that.

Mr Turnbull: The gentlemen's saying, "You can't do that." Excuse me; you're wrong.

The Acting Chair: Mr Turnbull, please address the Chair, and we must conserve the time.

Mr Turnbull: In some administrations, as you know, there are differential speed limits according to weather.

The Acting Chair: Is there a response to the question? Do you have a short response?

Mr Hughes: The issue of raising the speed limits is something I think I addressed earlier. As a general rule, the higher the speed limit, the higher the fatality, injury and collision rates. Second, the higher the average speed, the greater the severity and significance of the injuries and the damage of any collision.

The Acting Chair: Thank you for your response. Mr Daigeler: just a very short time because I have two announcements by 12 o`clock.

Mr Daigeler: The insurance industry, I'm sure, is one that would be interested in supporting this particular measure, but yesterday I got a fax from an insurance broker who really is saying that people are not aware that with the photo-radar and the likelihood that a lot more people are going to get caught, this is going to have a tremendous impact on their insurance rates and their ability to get insurance.

The government is saying they won't have any demerit points because one isn't 100% sure who the driver was. But on the owner of the vehicle, this will have a tremendous impact on the ability to even get insurance. This gentleman from Jackett Insurance -- I think he faxed it to other people as well -- is very concerned that people don't know this and will not be able to get insurance or, at the minimum, insurance at a reasonable rate. I wonder whether the parliamentary assistant can speak to that. Is that the case?

Mr Dadamo: I think Mr Hughes would like to respond to that.

Mr Hughes: The Insurance Bureau of Canada is formally on record as supporting the photo-radar initiative. They recognize, I believe, the experience in other jurisdictions and the ability to collectively reduce average speeds in a given jurisdiction.

Mr Brittan: I would like to add that if it's possible that the insurance industry can contribute to improving driver behaviour by altering insurance rates based on the incidence of speeding etc among their clients, then perhaps that can have a very positive effect as well. It's another way to influence behaviour in a positive way.

Mr Daigeler: Related to that question of how the owner is going to be impacted, it will be the insurance company of the owner of the car that may not reinsure that particular owner, even though he wasn't the driver. Earlier in our discussions, I think the parliamentary assistant said that if you're the owner you will be able to renew your licence, even though there may be outstanding fines relating to photo-radar, because of this inability to distinguish between driver and owner. I would just like to know, how in the world are you going to distinguish?

When you go to the licence bureau, when your thing comes up on the computer and they see a fine, how are you going to be able to argue, to say: "No, this relates to photo-radar. I wasn't the driver at the time. I'm just the owner and therefore I should be able to renew my licence"? How are you going to do that?

Mr Dadamo: Mr Burns from MTO would like to respond.

Mr Ross Burns: Perhaps I can answer that. For the record, my name is Ross Burns, counsel with the Ministry of Transportation.

The scheme for photo-radar is that the owner will be charged and that will be connected to the plate holder who has his plates on the vehicle. As a result of a conviction, those plates will not be able to be validated until the fine that's assessed in respect to the speeding offence is paid, and no new permit can be issued. This is currently the system we have in place for parking violations, and that is being extended by the legislation to validation of plates in respect to photo-radar speeding offences.

Maybe there's some confusion, Mr Daigeler, on the licensing. If you're speaking of drivers' licences, there will be no suspension of privileges or the right to obtain your driver's licence as a result of the owner offence of photo-radar speeding. Non-payment of the fine will have no impact upon a driver's licence.

Mr Daigeler: I don't think it --

Mr Burns: You used the term "licence."

Mr Daigeler: -- right now has some impact on the driver's licence. But I think, if I'm not mistaken -- and I have to re-read Hansard -- the parliamentary assistant said you could renew your vehicle licence even though there were outstanding fines because of that. I have to review Hansard, but I think that's what he said, and you're saying this is not correct.

Mr Burns: I can't recall exactly either, but the effect of the legislation is to say, as in the case of parking fines that are not paid, that your vehicle permit cannot be validated or a new permit issued in respect to that vehicle that was involved in the offence. It's identical to what's in place now for parking. But the effect of non-payment of a fine for a photo-radar speeding offence will have no effect upon the driver's licence, or renewal or non-renewal. There will be no suspension of that licence. It only will affect the vehicle permit of the vehicle that was involved in the infraction. I can only clarify it from the legislation point of view.

The Acting Chair: Thank you for your response.

As it's almost time to adjourn, as you can see, pursuant to a resolution of the House of Tuesday, November 16, 1993:

"All proposed amendments shall be filed with the clerk of the committee by 12 pm on the last day of clause-by-clause consideration. At 4 pm on that day, those amendments which have not yet been moved shall be deemed to have been moved and the Chair of the committee shall interrupt the proceedings and shall, without further debate or amendment, put every question necessary to dispose of all remaining sections of the bill and any amendments thereto."

We have our work cut out this afternoon. It's been proposed that we could meet earlier if routine proceedings of the House are complete before 3:30.

Mr Turnbull: On that issue, I spoke to the parliamentary assistant and the Liberal critic earlier today and proposed that in view of the fact that we're not going to be able to effectively debate the clauses as we go through clause-by-clause, those amendments should be read into the record by the respective members in the period during which we sit prior to 4 o'clock, so that the various amendments moved by the caucuses will be reflected in Hansard. I believe the parliamentary assistant has agreed to this.

The Acting Chair: There is agreement. Anything further? If not, the committee stands adjourned until this afternoon.

The committee recessed from 1202 to 1518.

The Acting Chair The general government committee is resuming clause-by-clause on Bill 47, An Act to amend certain Acts in respect of the Administration of Justice, and we have proposed amendments. Mr Turnbull, you asked about an amendment regarding the preamble. Could we leave that until the end of the bill, please? The preamble is usually dealt with at the end of the bill.

Mr Turnbull: Mr Chair, this is tremendously important to the thrust of this bill; indeed, the preamble precedes the bill. This would add some clarity to the situation. We have asked that we spend this little time we have to read in these amendments. If we move expeditiously, we can get them all in, but I think this should be on the record.

The Acting Chair: Is it agreed that we allow Mr Turnbull to proceed with the preamble amendment?

Mr Paul Wessenger (Simcoe Centre): We are all agreed to read in the amendments, I think, without debate, is that correct?

The Acting Chair: Yes, that's correct. Proceed.

Mr Turnbull: So we will do it in the sequence of the numbering? Okay.

I move that the bill be amended by adding the following preamble:


"The people of Ontario recognize that road safety must be enhanced to reduce the number and severity of vehicular accidents and to control health care and insurance costs by minimizing loss of life, injury and property damage.

"The people of Ontario have a right to expect that their government, in introducing new measures to improve enforcement of the Highway Traffic Act with the stated intention of improving road safety, shall not exploit these measures as a means of raising new revenues for the consolidated revenue fund, and have the right to expect that any additional revenues raised by said measures shall be appropriated by the Legislative Assembly and dedicated to the funding of road safety programs.

"The people of Ontario further have the right to be protected from arbitrary and unfair measures and to be assured that the results and efforts of pilot projects and new enforcement practices are subject to thorough evaluation and sunset review, to ensure that the projects, programs or measures are attaining their stated objectives or can be modified or eliminated.

"Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario, enacts as follows:"

The Acting Chair: Thank you. I rule the preamble out of order because this act does not contain a preamble. Quoting from Beauchesne Parliamentary Rules and Forms, 6th edition, on page 209, citation 705(3), it states: "Where the bill, as introduced, does not contain a preamble, it is not competent for the committee to introduce one."

Section 1: Is there an amendment?

Mr Turnbull: Yes. I move that the bill be amended by striking out the portion of subsection (3) which adds section 5.1 to the Provincial Offences Act.

In speaking to this amendment, I give notice of my intention later on to move to strike out all of section 2 of the bill, because its primary purpose is to implement a system of photo-radar, under the guise of safety, which is nothing more than a tax grab. I move to strike out section 5.1 in section 1, because it is my interpretation that amendment to the Provincial Offences Act supports the photo-radar project.

We will support aspects of section 1 which relate to making the administration of justice more efficient but will not support aspects which pertain to photo-radar. Subsection 5.1(1) is linked to photo-radar and requires people to attend in person or by agent at the court to file notice of intention to appear. People should be able to mail notice in. Mail is one form of delivery. I may withdraw this amendment if I'm satisfied with the other aspects of the bill.

The Acting Chair: What was your amendment to, section and subsection?

Mr Turnbull: It was section 1 of the bill, section 5.1 of the act.

The Acting Chair: I understood there was an amendment to subsection 1(3). Before proceeding with that, shall subsections 1(1) and (2) carry? Then we'll go to your amendment.

Mr Turnbull: I thought we were going to be voting as of 4 o'clock on this and we were going to be reading in the amendments.

The Acting Chair: I believe that is correct. We had stated that. The clerk wishes to respond.

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Franco Carrozza): Mr Turnbull, I'm not aware of what it is that you're trying to do. Are we in clause-by-clause now?

Mr Turnbull: No. We agreed this morning with the parliamentary assistant that we would be reading in the various amendments we had; due to the fact that we are being forced to vote at 4 o'clock, we would then have these on the record. So all of those amendments would be read in by both the government and ourselves.

Clerk of the Committee: Mr Turnbull, there seems to be a misconception here. At 4 o'clock, we'll begin with the first clause and proceed. When it comes to your amendment, you will be permitted to place your amendment into the record; however, you will not be able to speak to it.

Mr Turnbull: Excuse me. If you read the motion that was made, you will find that we do not have the right to read our amendment into the record, as I read it. Indeed, we've had this type of motion before with, for example, Bill 121, and there is no further reading. It is deemed to be read into the record. That's specifically why I made the request this morning to the parliamentary assistant that we have an opportunity to read these into the record, because of the time limitation.

Mr Wessenger: Mr Chair, my understanding is that we had unanimously agreed that all the amendments would be read in and moved in their proper order, and then we would --

The Acting Chair: Do votes.

Mr Wessenger: Yes, proceed to votes at 4 o'clock, and that would save the reading in of the motions at 4 o'clock.

The Acting Chair: Thank you very much for your clarification.

Clerk of the Committee: As long as I know what I'm doing. Thank you.

The Acting Chair: Mr Turnbull, would you proceed?

Mr Turnbull: What do you want me to proceed with at this stage?

The Acting Chair: You have submitted a proposed amendment to subsection 1(3). I rule this amendment out of order because the proper procedure is to vote against the section. If the vote for inclusion is lost, the section and subsection will be removed.

Mr Grandmaître: Is that all the explanation given to this, Mr Chair?

Clerk of the Committee: Yes. This has happened in other committees I've sat on. When you attempt to amend by removing, it's a matter of voting against the section. Mr Dadamo.

Mr Dadamo: I move that subsection 9.1(2) of the Provincial Offences Act, as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "applies" in the first line "section 54 does not apply and".

The Acting Chair: Thank you. Amendment to subsection 1(4) of section 10.

Mr Dadamo: I move that section 10 of the Provincial Offences Act, as set out in subsection 1(4) of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted:

"Signature on notices

"10. A signature on an offence notice or notice of intention to appear purporting to be that of the defendant is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that it is the signature of the defendant."

The Acting Chair: Mr Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull: This is under section 1 of the bill.

I move that the bill be amended by striking out subsection (6).

The explanation is the same technical reason as my first amendment. My interpretation is that the sole purpose is to establish the photo-radar project and relates to the pilot project designation re photo-radar.

The Acting Chair: I rule this amendment out of order because the proper procedure is to vote against the section, and if the vote for inclusion is lost, the section and subsection will be removed. Mr Dadamo.

Mr Dadamo: I move that subsection 18.4(2) of the Provincial Offences Act, as set out in subsection 1(18) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "applies" in the first line "section 54 does not apply and".

The Acting Chair: Thank you. Mr Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull: I move an amendment to section 2 of the bill.

I move that the bill be amended by striking out all clauses contained in section 2.

I would move this on the basis that I believe this is a tax grab.

The Acting Chair: I rule this amendment out of order because the proper procedure is to vote against the section. Mr Dadamo.

Mr Dadamo: I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(4.1) Subsection 13(2) of the act is repealed and the following substituted:

"Numbers to be kept clean

"(2) The number plates shall be kept free from dirt and obstruction and shall be so affixed that the entire number plates including the numbers thereon may be plainly visible at all times, and the view thereof shall not be obscured or obstructed by spare tires, bumper bars, or by any part of the vehicle or any attachments thereto, or by the load carried."

The Acting Chair: I rule this amendment out of order because the amendment proposes to amend a subsection that is not contained in Bill 47. Therefore this amendment is beyond the scope of the bill.

Mr Dadamo: I move that subsection 13(3) of the Highway Traffic Act, as set out in subsection 2(5) of the bill, be amended by adding "entire number plates including the" after "the" at the end of the second line.


The Acting Chair: Mr Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull: I move that subsection 205.5(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, as set out in subsection 2(9) of the bill, be amended by replacing "twenty-three days" in the third line with "forty-eight hours."

The explanation is that it makes the process of citations in 48 hours instead of 23 days after the occurrence. Quite clearly, 23 days is too long and the memory will be faulty. The notice will be deemed to be served seven days after it is mailed; therefore, this is a reasonable period for the government to inform people in.

Mr Dadamo: I move that section 205.6 of the Highway Traffic Act, as set out in subsection 2(9) of the bill, be amended by inserting "photograph or a" after "A" in the first line.

The Acting Chair: Next amendment.

Mr Dadamo: I move that subsection 205.11(2) of the Highway Traffic Act, as set out in subsection 2(9) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "applies" in the first line "section 54 of the Provincial Offences Act does not apply and".

The Acting Chair: Next amendment.

Mr Dadamo: I move that subsection 207(6) of the Highway Traffic Act, as set out in subsection 2(11) of the bill, be amended by adding after "charged" in the second line "as an owner".

The Acting Chair: Next amendment.

Mr Dadamo: I move that subsection 207(7) of the Highway Traffic Act, as set out in subsection 2(11) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "imprisonment" in the fourth and fifth lines "a probation order under subsection 72(1) of the Provincial Offences Act".

Mr Turnbull: I move that subsection 207 of the Highway Traffic Act, as set out in subsection 2(11) of the bill, be amended by adding the following clause:

"Innocent Owner

"(8) If the owner of a motor vehicle upon being charged with an offence under section 128 swears under oath that he or she was not the driver of the motor vehicle on the date indicated on the offence notice and swears as to the identity of the driver, the charge against the owner will be null and void and an offence notice will be served on the offending driver pursuant to section 205.5 of the Highway Traffic Act."

This innocent-owner clause is vital to the car rental and leasing companies and is modelled on the Paradise Valley, Arizona, model, in which they prove it can work. The minister, upon questioning in the House, accepted that this area needed work and seemed to be open to discussion. A father who loans a vehicle to a son may choose to pay or have the conviction on his record, but the decision and control of the situation is in the hands of the non-offending owner.

The Acting Chair: Your next amendment, please.

Mr Turnbull: I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"Dedication of funds

"2.1 All revenue generated by and through the implementation of this act shall be paid into the consolidated revenue fund and shall be appropriated by the Legislative Assembly and dedicated to the funding of road safety programs."

This challenge to the minister is that indeed this is not a revenue-generating bill. The minister has consistently suggested that it isn't, and in this way he can prove this.

The Acting Chair: I move this amendment out of order because it is contrary to standing order 56, which I quote:

"Any bill, resolution, motion or address, the passage of which would impose a tax or specifically direct the allocation of public funds, shall not be passed by the House unless recommended by a message from the Lieutenant Governor, and shall be proposed only by a minister of the crown."


Mr Turnbull: I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"Review by legislative committee

"4.1(1) A standing committee of the Legislative Assembly shall, on or before the day that is eight months after the day on which this section comes into force, hold public hearings and undertake a comprehensive review of this act and the regulations, and shall make recommendations to the Legislative Assembly regarding amendments to this act and the regulations to this act.

"4.1(2) Three years after the day on which this section comes into force, this act and the regulations to this act shall stand referred to the same standing committee of the Legislative Assembly that held public hearings" -- no public hearings -- "under subsection 4.1(1) for review of the following:

"(a) the effect of the implementation and administration of this act and regulations on the enhanced efficiency of the justice system, and the violation of individual privacy rights with respect to the use of photo-radar equipment;

"(b) statistics related to the number of speeding violations over the last decade, the number of crashes and fatalities over the last decade; and

"(c) the amount of revenue generated under the programs initiated by this act that was added to the consolidated revenue fund and the proportion of the funds used for the financing of road safety programs."

This is added to accomplish several things in the future, namely, full evaluation of the pilot project but also evaluation of the safety-versus-tax-grab argument. Several years down the road, should the government proceed with photo-radar after evaluation of the pilot project, it is important to review it, important to allow public hearings at some point in the life of this bill, and is consistent with the Conservatives' request that all bills passed by the Legislature should be subject to sunset review.

The Acting Chair: I rule this amendment out of order because the amendment proposes to amend a subsection that is not contained in Bill 47. Therefore, this amendment is beyond the scope of the bill.

What is your wish at this time? Do you wish to recess until 4 pm or proceed with the vote?

Mr Turnbull: I think in view of the fact that we have not been allowed any public hearings, we have been --


Mr Turnbull: Excuse me., I hear somebody from the other side of the floor complaining. This is a fact, that we have not been allowed any public hearings into this. This is a government which insisted in the last election that it was going to be different, it was going to be open. There has never been as much correspondence to my office as we have on this. We haven't been allowed public hearings. Any further discussion with the government is totally irrelevant.

The Acting Chair: Mr Turnbull, would you address the Chair. What is your proposal?

Mr Turnbull: Therefore, Mr Speaker, I see no useful reason to sit here, and I suggest that we do recess until 4 o'clock and come back and vote on it, because the government is going to vote down everything; we know that.

The Acting Chair: Your proposal, then, is to recess.

Mr Turnbull: Yes.

The Acting Chair: Any other view or comment?

Mr Grandmaître: We agree that we should recess until 4 o'clock.

The Acting Chair: Anyone else wish to speak? If not, this meeting is recessed until 4 pm.

The committee recessed from 1539 to 1600.

The Acting Chair: Members, ladies and gentlemen, could you take your chairs, please, so we can get started with the vote and complete the business of the committee that's before us. It was agreed that the vote on the bill would take place at 4 o'clock, and we'll commence.

Interjection: It wasn't agreed; it was ordered.

The Acting Chair: Ordered, thank you. It was ordered.

Section 1: Shall subsection 1(1) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(2) carry? Carried.

Shall the amendment proposed by Mr Dadamo to subsection 1(3) carry? It's on page 2, being subsection 9.1(2). Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(3), as amended, carry? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Mr Dadamo has proposed an amendment to subsection 1(4). Shall the amendment carry? All in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(4), as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(5) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(6) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(7) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(8) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(9) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(10) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(11) carry? Carried.

Shall subsections 1(12) to 1(17) carry? Carried.

There's an amendment to subsection 1(18) proposed by Mr Dadamo. Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 1(18), as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall subsections 1(19) to 1(28) carry? Carried.

Shall section 1, as amended, carry? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall subsections 2(1) to (4) carry? Carried.

Subsection 2(5), an amendment by Mr Dadamo: Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 2(5), as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall subsections 2(6) to (8) carry? Carried.

Subsection 2(9), an amendment proposed by Mr Turnbull: Shall the amendment carry? In favour? Opposed? The motion is lost.

Subsection 2(9), an amendment proposed by Mr Dadamo to section 205.6 and 205.11(2) of the act: Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 2(9), as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 2(10) carry? Carried.

An amendment to subsection 2(11) by Mr Dadamo to subsection 207(6) of the act: Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Shall the section, as amended, carry? All in favour? Opposed? Motion carried.

Subsection 2(11), an amendment proposed by Mr Dadamo to section 207(7): Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Mr Turnbull's amendment proposed to subsection 2(11), to add a subsection 207(8) to the act: Shall the amendment carry? All in favour? Opposed? The motion is lost.

Shall subsection 2(11), as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 2(12) carry? Carried.

Shall section 2, as amended, carry? In favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall subsections 3(1) to (6), carry? Carried.

Shall Bill 47, as amended, carry? In favour?

Mr Daigeler: Don't we have to approve section 3 first?

The Acting Chair: That included all of the subsections. I gave the subsections, but it included all of section 3.

Clerk of the Committee: After section 3, there's 4, 5 and 6. I made a mistake. My mistake; they're not approved.

The Acting Chair: Thank you. Can we delete the previous vote? Is that possible here?

Shall section 3 carry? All in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall sections 4, 5 and 6 carry? In favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall Bill 47, as amended, carry? In favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall Bill 47, as amended, be reported to the Legislature? In favour? Opposed? Carried.

What would you like to do now?

Mr David Johnson: We'll have public hearings now.

The Acting Chair: Thank you for your attendance. The committee stands adjourned until next Thursday.

The committee adjourned at 1612.