Temporary cameras on harbour bridges to collect data on drivers
A camera will collect information on drivers paying cash by taking a picture of their licence plate.
Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018 4:11PM ADT
The Halifax Harbour Bridges Commission is installing temporary cameras at the toll booths where people pay cash to cross one of the two bridges that span the harbour.
The bridge commission says it’s gathering the data as part of a study to identify where cash-paying customers are coming from because it is considering cashless options.
There are already cameras atop the towers that monitor weather and traffic, but these cameras will be at ground level and capturing different information. Alison MacDonald, the Communications Manager for the Halifax Harbour Bridges Commission, says they have received some complaints about the new temporary cameras over concerns about privacy.
“It's not capturing any information about the person driving the vehicle or the vehicle itself, it's just capturing the license plate,” saidMacDonald.
Matt De Serres is a Mac Pass user and says he’s open to any improvements that will reduce congestion on the bridges.
“We’re sitting at a red light for a solid 20 minutes,” he said. “It's a nightmare trying to get on the bridge down here.”
Every day there are more than 100,000 crossings on the A. Murray MacKay Bridge and the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge and 75 per cent of users have a Mac Pass or prepaid card. The rest, including John Robidoux, still rely on cash.
“I'm a dinosaur maybe, does it really matter?” Robidoux said. “It may cost a bit more, but I don't cross the bridge that often.”
One recent Mac Pass convert says he's already seeing a difference in his commute.
“You get sick of having to find a loonie every day,” said Thomas Rice. “(You) get to the bridge going through change and if you don't have a loonie what you gonna do? Mac pass (is) way faster and easier.”
The temporary cameras will be removed at the end of July.
With files from Marie Adsett.