The City of Toronto Delays Plans to Install 21 New Red Light Cameras at Intersections

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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. 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. 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.

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  1. Hi Tony: When you signed off the rental contract, there would have been contractual language which would make the renter of the vehicle responsible for any tickets that he or she incurred while renting the vehicle. This means that even if the legislative language was clear that the owner of the car (and not the driver, unless the driver is the owner) was responsible for any of the fines that involved that particular vehicle, you (the renter of said vehicle) would be on the hook (ie-red light camera’s at intersections, charges for use of Highway 407, etc). Usually the car rental agency simply deducts the amount from your credit card (the same credit card you used to rent or lease the car) the same credit card, which you authorized the rental agency to deduct any fines from in the small print of the contract that you signed before you took the rental vehicle out on the road. The best thing to do however, is to challenge this tickets in court. Alot of red light tickets are reduced to $30.00 if you plead guilty to this charge. Remember to always

  2. Sorry off-topic, but you guys don’t want emails about specific situations and I searched and the you don’t address the topic on your site.

    But could you provide any info about the process of red-light infractions when it comes to rented cars. The car rental agency expects the renter to handle the duties of ticket (I am not disputing that the renter is responsible for any fines) but the law states the owner of the vehicle is the one responsible for handling the duties of the ticket.

    Thanks in advance if you care to offer up any info.

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