EDMONTON - A photo of a photo radar operator appearing to have been caught napping on the job has sparked a firestorm of criticism.
Earlier this week, photos were posted online showing a photo radar truck parked on a grassy median near the downtown and another showing the operator seemingly asleep.
Councillor Mike Nickel calls them "two wonderful photos" that demonstrate why people get angry at photo radar.
He says he's always maintained that photo radar does not slow people down and says the photos reinforce a stereotype.
City officials say the individual in the photo is not an employee of the city but was hired by the company contracted to run photo radar.
The operator has been suspended pending an investigation into the incident.
“That operator will be brought back from the field, which happened in this particular case, and an investigation was immediately conducted, or started,” said Gerry Shimko with the Office of Traffic Safety.
Shimko said operators have a specific process to follow.
He added he was concerned that if the operator was asleep, it put his safety at risk but also said he understands people can make mistakes.
“It doesn’t excuse behaviour, but at the end of the day we’ll weigh that and apply, I think, the appropriate consideration and see where that goes,” Shimko said.
As for the drivers who may have been caught speeding by that particular vehicle during the operator’s shift, they won’t be ticketed.
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