It was reported by the Toronto Star that the City of Toronto will most likely hold off on the introduction of 21 new Red Light Cameras at 21 new intersections in the City, in addition to the 77 Red Light Cameras installed at intersections throughout the City of Toronto; this is largely based on a staff report to the City Council.
fightyourtickets.ca reported on the planned actions of the City of Toronto in September 2008 (see page).
If a motorist travels through an intersection, after the traffic light has turned red, in theory the red light camera is suppose to take a snapshot of the motor vehicle and the licence plate of that vehicle. After this, documentation is sent to the owner (not necessarily the driver, unless the driver is the owner) stating that the owner has violated section 144 (18) of the Highway Traffic Act and demanding payment of $ 180.00. The owner of the vehicle does not accumulate any demerit points as a result of this violation of the Highway Traffic Act.
In August 2004, Premier McGuinty announced that he was giving the green light to municipalities and cities to begin to install the red-light camera systems at interesections and to ticket those motorists who were picked up on the camera system and then to maintain the associated revenues from those red-light camera convictions.
In 2008 the City projected a revenue of 5.2 million dollars, based on the income from 77 red light camera’s and the fine of $ 180.00 based on a conviction with respect to travelling through an intersection, after the traffic light had turned red. It has now been reported that the City was only able to collect 1.9 million dollars in 2008, as a result of motorists running red lights and being convicted of same. The City never anticipated that motorists would actually go to court to fight these tickets and would, on average, upon conviction, only pay $ 95.00 rather than the full fine of $ 180.00. In addition, the City of Toronto did not raise the $ 180.00 fine to $ 500.00 as it had considered doing, back in September, 2008.
Due to the fact that the City of Toronto experienced a 3.3 million dollar shortfall from anticipated future revenue, City Staff are now recommending holding off on the introduction of 21 new red light cameras (which cost $100,000.00 each, to install) until 2010. It is good to know that the City of Toronto acknowledges that one of the reasons the city coffers aren’t as full as they would wish, is due to the fact that owners of cars are fighting these red light camera tickets and even if convicted, the average amount paid is $ 95.00 versus the anticipated $ 180.00.
fightyourtickets.ca is glad that the City is reconsidering its option of raising the red light fine to $ 500.00 as it would be one of the highest red light camera fines in North America. Toronto is trying to cope with the current recession and a four (4) per cent hike in property taxes. While thousands are having the doors of their employers permanently shut, when they leave their job, the last thing people want to hear about is another tax or a red light camera fine being increased by over 200%. The City must be sensitive to the people visiting the City, living in the City and the economic reality that everyone is currently experiencing.
See “Legal Issues” under Traffic Enforcement Cameras.
March 30, 2010: City of Ottawa: Number of Red Light Camera’s almost double in City. Intersections in a Community Safety Zone or School Zone with a “red light camera” increase red light fines to $490.00.