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Winnipeg Police Service

Photo Radar Technology

How do mobile photo radar vehicles work?

Photo enforcement is part of the Winnipeg Police Service's overall strategy to make the city streets safe for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Ten mobile units conduct speed enforcement in school zones, playground zones and construction zones. The enforced areas must be identified by standard playground and school zone signs.

Speed enforcement is designed to improve traffic safety and reduce the number and severity of traffic collisions by lowering overall speeds. Mobile vehicles equipped with rapid-action camera and radar equipment will be deployed to take photographs of vehicles violating Winnipeg's speed limits.

If an offender speeds past a photo radar equipped vehicle, it triggers the camera to take a picture of only the speeding vehicle and license plate as observed by the peace officer manning the vehicle. These pictures, along with a traffic violation notice, are mailed to the registered owner of the speeding vehicle.

Signs are placed at entrances to the city and along major routes traveled by motorists to remind drivers that speed limit violations are photo enforced.

Photo radar is slightly different from conventional radar. The photo radar beam width is much narrower and aimed across the roadway. This method is more vehicle-specific. If more then one vehicle is in the beam, the system does not take a photograph

Mobile Photo Radar

The diagram above shows the difference in beam coverage between conventional radar that is shot down the road and photo radar that is shot across the road. As illustrated, the width of the conventional radar beam is quite large and may have several vehicles in the beam, which requires operator interpretation of the violation. With photo radar, the beam coverage is more vehicle-specific and eliminates the need for interpretation. With photo radar, if more than one vehicle is in the beam the unit does not send the command to the camera to take a violation photo.


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Last update: September 17, 2019

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