Traffic cameras have been used as a part of Toronto’s law enforcement for many years. The first automated speed camera enforcement system was placed in 1997 as a “red light camera.” This system was in use for just over a decade until it was replaced with a newer method of “speed-on-green” cameras in 2007. The newer cameras use radar technology to detect vehicles traveling over the speed limit and automatically issue tickets.
During the last four months of 2018, the Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) pilot collected data for the average weekly vehicles detected above the speed limit, average weekly vehicles detected more than 10 km/h above the speed limit, average weekly volume, and maximum detected speed (km/h) in 8 different locations throughout the Toronto area. Some of this data includes 60,170 drivers driving above the speed limit in one week on Avenue Rd. and a maximum speed of 202.3 km/h recorded in a 40km/h zone on Renford Ave.
What has the data shown so far?
“The city is on track for 150 automated speed cameras in the future.” After this data was analyzed, the city issued 25,000 warning letters. From there in late 2019, 50 mobile cameras were set to be placed in community safety zones, with the traffic fines starting in 2020. The City of Toronto currently operates a total of 75 automated speed cameras throughout different areas, with the recent addition of 25 new cameras in February 2023.
Although many think that automated speed cameras are unnecessary or unfair, they have proven to be beneficial in a few different ways. First, they can help to reduce traffic accidents by deterring drivers from speeding, which is one of the leading causes of accidents. Second, they can help to reduce the strain on police resources by allowing the city to monitor speed limits without using police officers to do it. Finally, automated speed cameras can also generate revenue for the city through fines for drivers caught speeding. Overall, automated speed traps can be an effective tool to help improve safety and generate additional revenue for the city.
Toronto has received $34M in fines from drivers.
Since the cameras were placed just over two years ago, the number of tickets issued by the automated speed cameras in just a four-month period of time in 2022 was over 560,000. With all of these tickets and fines collected, many are left asking questions: Are the cameras being used for “cash-grabbing”? Where should the fine money be spent? And are the automated cameras actually helping keep the streets of the greater Toronto area safer?
A few of these questions are left up to one’s opinion and are under debate, but one can be answered. Toronto’s speed cameras are helping to improve driver safety. Studies have shown that drivers who receive a ticket from a speed camera are likely to reduce their speed and improve their overall driving habits. This has resulted in a decrease in the number of speeding-related accidents and fatalities in the Toronto area. Speed cameras are particularly effective in areas where there are a lot of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, as it helps to ensure that drivers are following the speed limit and adhering to the rules of the road.
Do you have a tendency to have a lead foot? You might receive an unpleasant piece of mail with the increasing numbers of automated speed cameras being placed throughout the greater Toronto area in months to come. Check the location of automated speed cameras here.