Update: see previous post – August 9, 2013 Toronto: Toronto’s 77 Red Light Cameras Resulted in $11M in Fines in Just 18 Months.
The City of Toronto is considering increasing the number of red-light cameras on the streets in a bid to reduce dangerous driving.
A city staff report released in late August suggested approximately 80 major intersections in Toronto could be fitted with red-light cameras over the next six years.
The targeted intersections span the entire city — from Albion Road and Finch Avenue in Etobicoke, to Lawrence Avenue and Kennedy Road in Scarborough. The intersections of Bay and Richmond Streets in the downtown core, and Sheppard and Bayview Avenues in North York could also be outfitted with the technology.
The report said the cost of installing and operating the new red-light cameras will be offset by the number of additional tickets the city will issue thanks to the technology. If approved, the cameras will be in place by 2021.
Toronto’s red-light camera program began 15 years ago as the city put new focus on drivers who run red lights. Since 2007, 77 cameras have been installed across the city. But their effectiveness is still a topic of debate at city hall.
The city says the number of crashes causing property damage at red-light-camera intersections decreased by 19 per cent since the program began. The number of crashes that ended with an injury or death were also reduced by 40 per cent.
However, the numbers also indicate that drivers seem to slam their brakes to avoid getting caught by a red-light camera: the number of rear-end collisions rose by 27 per cent in the same period.
Some city staff also argue fewer major collisions at busy intersections mean a lesser burden on emergency services and the heath-care system. So far, staff estimate red-light cameras have helped save $58 million in “societal cost(s).”
“It also results in improved traffic flow, reduced travel time and better driver education,” the report said.
Red-light cameras have also improved the city’s road-related revenue: drivers caught red-footed have netted the city $11.4 million since 2007. City staff estimate Toronto could bring another $16 million by 2021 with more cameras.
The report will be presented to city council on Wednesday.