- City of Toronto,
- City of Ottawa,
- City of Hamilton,
- Region of Waterloo,
- Region of Peel,
- Halton Region,
- York Region and
- City of London.
What is red light running?
It is a violation that occurs when a driver enters the intersection when the traffic signal is red. Running red lights is illegal. It is unsafe for motorists to enter an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red.
When will red light cameras be operating in Kingston? At what intersections?
A staff report outlining the process to install red light cameras at a minimum of 10 intersections in the City will be brought to council for its consideration in November 2019. Since the background work required to implement the program could take up to two years, if council approves the recommendation, red light cameras could be operational in the city by 2022.
The locations for the proposed red light cameras will be confirmed at a later time. Factors to be considered during the selection process include the number of right-angle collisions and red light violations. Staff will also gather feedback from Kingston Police. It is also important to spread the red light camera intersections throughout the city in order to gain the maximum safety benefit.
How do red light cameras increase safety if they can’t actually prevent a collision from happening?
Public awareness of red light cameras reduces aggressive driving behaviour and decreases red light running. The cameras are a deterrent such that the threat of a ticket can change motorist behaviour. Studies have shown that red light violation rates can decrease by almost 50% within a few months of camera installation and that right-angle collisions can be reduced by more than 25%. The benefits of improved driving behaviour can even spread to intersections without red light cameras.
How serious is the red light running problem in Kingston?
As part of a 2013 study, red light violation surveys were completed in the city at 22 intersections for a period of six hours at each location. There was an average of five violations per day at each intersection with a high of 30 violations per day at one location.
Red light running is one of the causes of angle or “t-bone” collisions, the most severe type of collision that often results in serious injuries. A review of the City’s most recent five years of collision data (2014 to 2018) showed that city-wide, an average of 68 right-angle collisions occurred per year at signalized intersections; an average of 22 of these collisions resulted in injuries.
How do red light cameras work?
The red light camera program is designed to modify aggressive driving behaviour and increase awareness of the dangers of running red lights.
The red light camera takes two photographs. The first photo is taken when a vehicle is behind the stop bar and about to enter the intersection when the traffic signal is red. The second photo is taken when the vehicle is within the intersection. In order to capture the license plate, both photos show the rear of the vehicle only. The violation notice sent to the registered owner includes both of these photos in addition to an enlarged photograph of the rear license plate of the vehicle.
A driver that enters the intersection on a green or amber traffic signal will not be ticketed by a red light camera system.
If a motorist stops slightly beyond the stop bar on a red light but doesn’t proceed through the intersection will they receive a ticket?
Detection loops under the pavement behind the stop bar tell the red light camera system how fast a vehicle is travelling as they approach the intersection. The vehicle must be travelling at a specified threshold speed or higher for the camera to be activated. If the camera is triggered but the vehicle stops and does not enter the intersection on a red light, the processing officer reviewing the photos will NOT process the violation notice and the motorist will NOT receive a ticket.
What if a vehicle is making a left turn and the signal turns red when the vehicle is still in the intersection?
As long as the vehicle ENTERS the intersection on a green or amber traffic signal, the left-turning motorist will not be ticketed for turning when the traffic signal is red.
What if a vehicle is making a permitted right turn on red? Will the motorist receive a ticket?
In accordance with the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, as long as the vehicle comes to a stop before the stop bar prior to turning, the motorist will not be ticketed for turning right on red.
Why not just make the amber light longer so that vehicles have more time to clear the intersection?
The City uses Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) guidelines to determine both the length of the amber and the all-red phase at signalized intersections. The guidelines consider the posted speed limit and the width of the intersection. A longer amber or a longer all-red could encourage motorists to continue driving through the intersection. Longer vehicle clearance times also increase overall delays for all users of the intersection.
Will the City shorten the length of amber lights at traffic signals in order to catch more vehicles running red lights?
No. The City will continue to adhere to Ministry of Transportation Ontario guidelines to determine both the length of the amber and the all-red phase at signalized intersections. The length of amber lights at signalized intersections will not be adjusted in order to catch more red light runners.
Are the cameras installed on all approaches at the intersection?
No. Red light cameras are typically installed on only one approach of an intersection. The camera is usually installed on the approach that has the highest risk of red light running.
Are signs posted at intersections with red light cameras in order to warn motorists?
Yes. All intersections with red light cameras must have warning signs posted on all approaches, not just the approach with the red light camera. Since red light cameras are typically installed on only one approach of an intersection, motorists may not be aware which approach has a camera.
Will the red light cameras be rotated amongst designated intersections?
No. Cameras will not be rotated between locations. Since the cost of the cameras has decreased over the years, each signed and designated intersection will have an operational camera in place.
Do red light cameras replace police officers at intersections? Isn’t regular police enforcement enough?
Red light cameras do not replace police officers but they are an enforcement tool used to enhance police efforts and discourage motorists from running red lights. Since the cameras operate 24/7, the program allows police to use their resources more efficiently.
Do police have to show up in court when a red light camera ticket is appealed?
No. The photographic evidence is so compelling that a police officer is not required to be in court when a ticket is appealed. This saves valuable time and allows police resources to be utilized where they are most needed.
What is the penalty for running a red light if caught by a red light camera system?
The set fine for running a red light is currently $325. This charge includes $260 that would be forwarded to the City of Kingston, a $60 victim surcharge for the Ministry of Transportation Ontario and a $5 court cost for the local provincial court. Since the registered owner of the vehicle may not actually be the driver that ran the red light, demerit points are NOT issued with red light camera tickets.
What is the penalty for running a red light if caught by a police officer (not a red light camera)?
The set fine for running a red light when caught by a police officer is $325 and 3 demerit points.
Do the cameras photograph every vehicle passing through the intersection?
No. The cameras only photograph vehicles that enter an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. Vehicles that enter the intersection on a green or amber traffic signal will not be photographed.
Can cyclists who run red lights be ticketed?
No. The red light camera will not detect and photograph cyclists who run red lights. Although cyclists are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles, there is currently no system in place that could identify cyclists in a photograph.
Where are red light cameras currently operating in Ontario?
Red light cameras have been operating in Ontario since 2000 and have been installed in:
Who supplies the cameras? How big are the cameras? Where are they located?
The current red light camera vendor for all municipalities in Ontario is Traffipax. The camera is an industrial 35 mm digital camera, manufactured for unattended operation in an outdoor environment. The cameras are housed in a 1/2 metre by 1/2 metre by 1/2 metre enclosure. The cameras are mounted on a pole, approximately 20 metres in advance of the intersection and are mounted approximately 3.6 metres above the ground. These cameras operate even in darkness, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
How many violations are required per intersection in order for the program to pay for itself or "break even"?
An average of one violation per camera per day is required to cover all costs to operate a red light program. It is important to note that not all offenders will receive a ticket for reasons such as a dirty license plate, plate blocked by a trailer hitch or poor visibility due to the weather and the fact that out-of-province vehicles currently cannot be ticketed by Ontario’s red light camera system.
Do red light cameras generate a lot of revenue?
The focus of the red light camera program is SAFETY and not a means to generate revenue. A successful red light camera program is revenue neutral, meaning that the revenues would at least cover the operating expenses. Since the incidence of red light running decreases after the installation of cameras, it is difficult to predict the number of red light violations. Once operating expenses and staff time are accounted for, municipalities cannot ensure that the program will generate revenue. If the program does however eventually generate revenue, staff would recommend that these funds be directed towards road safety initiatives but the final decision would rest with council.
What is the cost of a red light camera program?
The red light camera contractor installs, operates and maintains the camera system and then charges the municipality a monthly fee based on a minimum five-year contract. The estimated cost to operate a red light camera system, exclusive of staff time and public engagement, is approximately $53,000 per camera per year. Based on a program with 10 cameras, the estimated total cost is $530,000 per year.
How long does it take to receive the ticket in the mail?
The regulations state that the ticket must be sent within 23 days of the offence. The letter is expected to arrive within seven days so the ticket should be received within 30 days or less after the offence.
Do red light cameras violate privacy?
Who receives the ticket for running a red light detected by a camera system?
The registered license plate holder receives the ticket, regardless of who was driving the vehicle.
How are violations processed? Are the photographs carefully reviewed before motorists are ticketed?
All municipalities in Ontario with a red light camera program must use the same vendor such that all programs operate identically and follow the same rules and processes. The vendor typically downloads the digital film at the intersections on a weekly basis. All images are delivered to a centralized processing center operated by the City of Toronto. Trained Provincial Offences Officers carefully review every photograph to verify information and to ensure that the vehicle is in violation. Tickets are mailed to registered vehicle owners only if the photographs clearly show that the vehicle ran the red light. The local court system is responsible for any violation appeals.
Will motorists in a funeral procession be ticketed for driving through a red light?
If traffic at the intersection is being directly controlled by a police officer, motorists in a funeral procession will not be ticketed for driving through the red light. If there is a police vehicle parked within the intersection and the officer remains in the vehicle and does not directly control traffic, then the motorists in the funeral procession will be ticketed for driving through the red light.
Do the red light cameras still work when it is snowing? If the roads are icy will a motorist still receive a ticket for running a red light?
It is important that motorists adjust their driving to the current road conditions. Although the red light cameras can usually continue to operate during poor weather, if the stop bar (white line) is covered by snow and not clearly visible in the photograph taken by the camera, the motorist will NOT receive a ticket. Even when the weather is clear, the stop bar must be visible for the motorist to be charged.
Will emergency vehicles receive tickets for running red lights?
In accordance with the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, all emergency vehicles responding to calls, including police, fire and ambulance must stop at red lights to ensure that opposing traffic has stopped before proceeding through the intersection. If an emergency vehicle does not come to a stop at a red light before entering the intersection, they will receive a ticket for a red light violation.