Red-Light Cameras in Toronto Intersections

Update: see previous posts – October 13, 2011 City of Toronto Contemplating Getting Tough on Red-Light Intersection Violators, December 27, 2009 Red Light Camera Fines increase in Peel in 2010, June 7, 2009 Red Light Cameras at Intersections: Are they there to increase safety or to generate revenue?

Red Light Cameras at the intersection of King St & Jarvis St in Toronto

The city could add $2.5 million to its revenue by boosting the effectiveness of red-light cameras at intersections, while continuing to push down collision rates, according to a report from the auditor general’s office.

The City of Toronto have installed 78 red-light cameras at 114 intersections. In 2010, Toronto increased fines from $180 to $325 and the City was able to collect on $800,000.00 on the 38,000 tickets issued to motorists who allegedly ran red lights at various intersections in Toronto

Eighty-seven cameras at 114 intersections around the city snap pictures of cars that run red lights, information that is used to mail tickets to offenders. Between 2000, when the first cameras were installed, and 2009, the program drained more in costs than it took in via fines.

But last year, when fines were boosted to $325 from $180, the program generated $800,000 for the city. The report says that by increasing the program’s effectiveness, the city can glean even more money while continuing to increase safety. Collisions that end in injury or death are down 25 per cent at camera sites, compared with 6 per cent at all signalized intersections.

In 2010, 38,000 tickets were issued to motorists who ran red lights, but in 21,000 other instances where an offence took place, a fine couldn’t be issued for a variety of reasons.

The City of Toronto is now requesting the following:

 

The Red Light Camera up close

City Council requests the General Manager, Transportation Services, as required by the operating agreement with the Province of Ontario, to report to the Province on the collision history of monitored sites.

1.         City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to review the current Red Light Camera evaluation process to ensure that it is current, complete and as effective as possible, such review include an analysis of evaluation practices in other major North American Cities.  The General Manager, Transportation Services, update the 2006 evaluation of the Red Light Camera program.

2.                  City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, as required by the operating agreement with the Province of Ontario, to report to the Province on the collision history of monitored sites.

3.        City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to re-evaluate the current location of all red light cameras based on predetermined criteria. The results of this evaluation be compared to an even distribution of cameras on a ward-by-ward basis as requested by Council. Such information be reported to City Council as soon as possible.

4.                 City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, as requested in April 2008, to report back to Council “with an update on the status of the red light camera operations”. In preparing the report, information detailing financial results of the Red Light Camera program be provided as well as revised estimates for future program costs and revenues.

5.                 City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to explore opportunities for program cost sharing with other parties benefiting from the Red Light Camera program, particularly the Province of Ontario and the motor vehicle insurance
industry.

6.                 City Council request the City Solicitor in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, and the Chief of Police to request the Province of Ontario to amend legislation to permit Parking Enforcement Officers to issue tickets in relation to licence plate visibility.

7.                 City Council request the Treasurer, as part of the review of the enforcement of parking tags issued to out-of-province vehicles, to include in the review the City’s current inability to issue tickets for red light camera offences.

8.                 City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to ensure that all road markings at red light camera intersections are maintained to the extent necessary to allow the issuance of tickets for red light violations.

9.                 City Council request the Director, Court Services, in consultation with the City Solicitor to report back to Council by December 2012 on the impact of the Early Resolution procedures and on other options, including administrative penalties, if the number of trials requested in relation to red light camera charges does not decrease substantially.

 

Here is the meeting in which the City decided to ask the Province of Ontario to amend the laws to give them greater powers under the law.

Tracking Status

  • This item was considered by Audit Committee on October 20, 2011 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on November  29, 2011.
City Council consideration on November 29, 2011
AU4.1

ACTION

Ward:All

Red Light Camera Program –
Although Red Light Cameras Have Contributed to a Reduction in Accidents,
Opportunities Exist to Improve Financial Results and Program Effectiveness
Confidential Attachment – The security of the property of the municipality or local board;
Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board
Committee Recommendations

The Audit Committee recommends that:

 

1.        City Council request the General  Manager, Transportation Services, to review the current Red Light Camera evaluation process to ensure that it is current, complete and as effective as possible, such review include an analysis of evaluation practices in other major North American Cities. The General Manager, Transportation Services, update the 2006 evaluation of the Red Light Camera program.

 

2.                 City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, as required by the operating agreement with the Province of Ontario, to report to the Province on the collision history of monitored sites.

 

3.        City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to re-evaluate the current location of all red light cameras based on predetermined criteria. The results of this evaluation be compared to an even distribution of cameras on a ward-by-ward basis as requested by Council. Such information be reported to City Council as soon as possible.

 

4.                 City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, as requested in April 2008, to report back to Council “with an update on the status of the red light camera operations”. In preparing the report, information detailing financial results of the Red Light Camera program be provided as well as revised estimates for future program costs and revenues.

 

5.                 City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to explore opportunities for
program cost sharing with other parties benefiting from the Red Light Camera program, particularly the Province of Ontario and the motor vehicle insurance industry.

 

6.                 City Council request the City Solicitor in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation
Services, and the Chief of Police to request the Province of Ontario to amend legislation to permit Parking Enforcement Officers to issue tickets in relation to licence plate visibility.

 

7.                 City Council request the Treasurer, as part of the review of the enforcement of parking tags issued to out-of-province vehicles, to include in the review the City’s current inability to issue tickets for red light camera offences.

 

8.                 City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to ensure that all road markings at red light camera intersections are maintained to the extent necessary to allow the issuance of tickets for red light violations.

 

9.                 City Council request the Director, Court Services, in consultation with the City Solicitor to report back to Council by December 2012 on the impact of the Early Resolution procedures and on other options, including administrative penalties, if the number of trials requested in relation to red light camera charges does not decrease substantially.

 

10.             City Council request the Director, Court Services and City Solicitor, in accordance with the request of Council, to report back to Council “on the average in-court fine” for red light camera infractions.

 

11.             City Council adopt the recommendation contained in Confidential Attachment 1 to the report (August 25, 2011) from the Auditor General.

 

12.             City Council authorize the public release of the information contained in the Confidential Attachment 1 to the report (August 25, 2011) from the Auditor General, at the discretion of the City Solicitor in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services.

Committee Decision Advice and Other Information

The Audit Committee requested the General Manager, Transportation Services to report to the Committee by March 31, 2012, on the progress with the Province on amendments to legislation which would permit parking enforcement officers to issue tickets in relationship to licence plate visibility and expired licence renewal stickers.

The Audit Committee recessed its public session to meet in closed session to consider this item as it relates to:

– security of the property of the City or local board;

– litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals.

Summary

Red light cameras are used in many jurisdictions around the world to enhance enforcement efforts aimed at the reduction in red light running and the resulting accidents. The City of Toronto’s program was initiated in November 2000 with the installation of 10 cameras rotating between 38 intersections. Currently, the City has 87 cameras operating among 114 locations.

 

The Auditor General’s 2010 Work Plan included a review of the effectiveness of the Red Light Camera program. The objectives were to determine if the cameras were effective in reducing the number and severity of accidents related to red light running. Controls over the
laying of charges and collection of fines as well as the costs and revenues associated with the program were also reviewed.

 

The audit report contains 10 recommendations along with a management response to each of the recommendations. The implementation
of these recommendations will improve the overall effectiveness of the City’s Red Light Camera program and has the potential to increase revenue by approximately $2.5 million.

 

Background Information
(Committee)
(August 25, 2011)
Staff Report – Red Light Camera Program – Although Red Light Cameras Have Contributed to a Reduction in Accidents, Opportunities Exist to Improve Financial Results and Program Effectiveness

(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-41470.pdf)

(August 25, 2011) Appendix 1 to the Staff Report – Red Light Camera Program – Although Red Light Cameras Have Contributed to a Reduction in Accidents, Opportunities Exist to Improve Financial Results and Program Effectiveness
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-41471.pdf)

(August 25, 2011) Appendix 2 to the Staff Report – Management’s Response to the Auditor General’s Red Light Camera Program – Although Red Light Cameras Have Contributed to a Reduction in Accidents,
Opportunities Exist to Improve Financial Results and Program Effectiveness

(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-41472.pdf)

(October 20, 2011) Presentation from the Auditor General on the Review of the Red Light Camera Program
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-41887.pdf)

(October 20, 2011) Confidential Presentation from the Auditor General on the Review of the Red Light Camera Program

 

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