08/31/2012 04:04 EDT | Updated 10/31/2012 05:12 EDT

Photo radar to be used near road work sites

The Quebec government has announced locations for new photo-radar installations, the first such sites since it passed legislation in the spring allowing permanent use of the technology.

The Transport Ministry said all eight will be at sites where there is ongoing road work.

The locations include two stretches of Highway 20 and one of Highway 40 in the area around Quebec City, and three spots on Highways 10 and 40 in towns near Montreal.

The first of the photo-radar cameras was to be in place Friday.

"It's time we get used to photo radar, which has proven effective at promoting road safety and, above all, at saving lives," Transport Minister Pierre Moreau said in a news release.

The statement says special orange signs will be placed at constructions zones where there's photo radar. The law already provides for doubled fines for anyone caught speeding in a construction zone.

Not a cash-grab, government says

The government has maintained since it launched a photo-radar pilot project in 2009 that it deploys the technology to heighten road safety and not to boost revenues from speeding tickets.

That pilot project saw photo radar units and red-light cameras installed at 15 locations across Quebec, at some of the most dangerous trouble spots on urban and rural roads in Montreal and the Montérégie and Chaudière-Appalaches regions.

An all-party legislative committee that looked into the effectiveness of those cameras found they had a positive impact on reducing speed and collisions.

In a November 2011 report, the committee said drivers slowed down by an average of 10 kilometres per hour and there was an 85 per cent drop in vehicles running red lights.

The report prompted the government to pass legislation in May that allows for photo radar and red-light cameras to be permanently set up in locations across the province.