Red Light Cameras

Consultation has concluded

Red Light Camera Banner


Council directed City staff to begin the process of implementing a red-light camera program at 10 intersections in Kingston at its meeting on December 3, 2019.


Red light cameras have been operating in Ontario for almost 20 years. Eight municipalities in the province currently have red light cameras. Kingston will join the program such that red light cameras could be operating in the City by 2022.

Prior to council’s consideration of the red light camera program, residents were invited to ask City staff their questions about the program and provide their input on what such a program could look like. Staff received and responded to 50 related questions.



Red Light Camera Banner


Council directed City staff to begin the process of implementing a red-light camera program at 10 intersections in Kingston at its meeting on December 3, 2019.


Red light cameras have been operating in Ontario for almost 20 years. Eight municipalities in the province currently have red light cameras. Kingston will join the program such that red light cameras could be operating in the City by 2022.

Prior to council’s consideration of the red light camera program, residents were invited to ask City staff their questions about the program and provide their input on what such a program could look like. Staff received and responded to 50 related questions.



CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • How about posting the results of "High Collision Intersection Ahead" warning signs of which I believe we have at least one at Gardiners and TaylorKidd ? Of course graduated for traffic volume increase since installation. The results have been very good in P.E.C. at sand banks and Cty Rd 10. if you don't keep track of ours. Far cheaper and doesn't penalize owners unfairly for an obvious operator only errors.

    db2 asked 6 months ago

    Red light cameras are just one tool being used in Ontario to improve driver behaviour and decrease the incidence of serious collisions at intersections. Specialized signage could be another tool considered as a road safety measure.  We are aware of the warning signs noted in your question that have been installed in Prince Edward County at the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 11.  Although this type of signage does indeed draw attention to the intersection in a rural setting, especially when used sparingly, there could be challenges with this type of signage being effective in a busy urban area.  As most collisions within the City occur at intersections, we need to be cautious about “over signing” such that driver attention remains on the traffic signal and potential conflicts at the intersection. For these reasons, the City does not currently install "High Collision Intersection Ahead" warning signs. 


  • Are you still able to turn left on a red light, after traffic has cleared, and won’t receive a ticket?

    Mblondin asked 6 months ago

    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.


  • I understand that the city is looking at 10 locations? Will the lights at these locations be pointing in all 4 directions (given that they are 4 way intersection)? The need for some means of stopping people driving through solid red lights is necessary as I have noticed it is getting more frequent if that is possible! These drive throughs are at high speeds with no attempts to stop.

    Doug Bird asked 6 months ago

    Council will consider the installation of 10 red light cameras at a minimum of 10 intersections.

    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 so improved behaviour is expected on all approaches at the intersection.  Installing red light cameras on more than one approach at the same intersection typically does not provide enough additional safety benefit to justify the investment.  In order to improve driver behaviour, it is best to spread the red light camera locations throughout a municipality.


  • How many more cars get rear-ended when drivers slam on their brakes to avoid red light cameras? Also, how can the city justify spending over half a million dollars of OUR money to possibly decrease 22 injuries per year when it's very likely that more rear end collisions will occur with these cameras? Is Kingston on it's way to becoming a police state?

    karenraven asked 6 months ago

    Because red light cameras have been operating in Ontario for almost 20 years, the evidence is clear that they reduce right-angle collisions hence serious injuries and fatalities. During the first 6 to 12 months of the red light camera program, there is a risk that the incidence of rear-end type collisions could occur due to motorists unnecessarily slamming on the brakes.  Collision data from other municipalities shows that rear-end collisions could increase on average by approximately 15% but then decrease after motorists gain a better understanding of how the cameras work.  The City of London installed 10 red light cameras in 2017 and their collision data shows that rear-end type collisions increased by 12 to 15% during the initial phase of the program.  The City of London recently told us that the number of rear-end collisions at red light camera intersections has decreased in 2019 so this supports the theory that the rear-end collision history should improve after 12 months or so.  It is also important to note that the large majority of rear-end collisions are property damage only while right-angle collisions are the most severe type of collision that can occur at an intersection.

    With respect to costs, the fine revenue from the tickets is expected to cover all of the costs of the program.  All 8 municipalities currently operating red light cameras in Ontario have been able to cover all operating costs with the revenue collected from the violations.


  • Red Light Cameras, YES. However, one solution is to do what the United Kingdom did. They put the boxes just about everywhere - intersections, roads, highways, school zones, known speeding areas, etc.. They move the cameras from box to box so you never know if there is a camera there or not, until the flash tells you it took your picture. Now, everybody slows down for the camera box/boxes.

    RConWatch asked 6 months ago

    When red light cameras were first installed in Ontario almost 20 years ago, the cameras were very expensive so they were rotated among the chosen intersections.  Drivers at that time didn't know if there was a camera or not at the intersections signed with the red light camera warning signs. Now that the program uses digital cameras and equipment costs have decreased significantly, cameras are no longer rotated between locations.  If an intersection in Ontario is signed with the red light camera warning signs, there should be a red light camera in operation on at least one approach of the intersection.



  • Before needless red light cameras are installed are there any plans in place to resolve the constant malfunctioning advanced green lights....I travel to work and go through the intersection at Centennial Drive and Bath Rd at least four times a day .....I regularly see the west facing advanced green only stay on long enough to allow 2-3 cars through.....resulting in others jumping the yellow and red lights that follow

    DANDON63 asked 6 months ago

    There have been some on-going issues with the vehicle detection at this intersection.  We have asked Utilities Kingston to look into this.

  • why not building more roundabouts!!?? they save on energy (no lights necessary), do not stop traffic (less frustrating than having all the red lights one after the other)...so they are better for the flow and the environment!

    natadelal asked 6 months ago

    We appreciate your support for roundabouts.  You may notice that the City has installed 2 roundabouts along Cataraqui Woods Drive and 2 along the north portion of Centennial Drive.  We considered a roundabout at Highway 38 and Unity Road but due to the grade of Highway 38 and the curve on Unity Road, it was deemed that a traffic signal was the best option.   Although roundabouts can decrease delays and the severity of collisions, they do require a large amount of land and can be challenging for pedestrians and cyclists.  The City will continue to consider roundabouts on a case-by-case basis where appropriate.

  • Might the 2.65 million which may be spent on red light camera's be better spent on snow removal or park maintenance? There are many sidewalks, especially in the West end which are not wheelchair accessible during the really snow months of winter. In the spring grass isnt cut in some parks until it is almost knee high, and at least two of the wooded areas of Cataraqui Woods Park have been turned into hangout spots covered in piles of garbage — plastic bottles, aluminum cans and food wrappers — and furnished with backyard furniture largely stolen from neighbouring properties. ...

    Mhmslg asked 6 months ago

    The cost estimate of $530,000 per/year for 10 intersections is based on each camera installation costing $53,000 per year for 5 years.  Based on a minimum installation of 10 cameras, the total expected cost for the full 5 year commitment is estimated at $2.65 million.  These costs include the fixed base costs associated with each camera including the camera hardware, installation, maintenance and annual MTO licensing fee as well as an estimate of the processing/administration fees that are levied for each violation that is processed. 

    The above cost estimate is based on information from other Ontario municipalities running red light camera programs.  Practically the number of violations per camera are higher in the early years of the program and decline over time as motorists adjust their behaviour at the intersection.  The reduction in violations over time is a measure that the program is effective. 

    For each red light camera violation, the City would receive $260 once the Federally mandated victim surcharge fee ($60) and court fee ($5) is deducted.  This $260 will be used to offset the above costs, any City administration/communications costs, and any surplus would remain within the municipality.  If Council wishes to proceed with the program, staff would likely recommend that the revenue be held in a road safety reserve fund for the duration of the 5-year program to lower the risk that program is not, at a minimum, revenue neutral over the five year time frame.

    There are no additional fees over and above what has been noted in this response. The fine revenue from the tickets is intended to cover all of the costs over the term of the program which are estimated to be $2.65 million.  All 8 municipalities currently operating red light cameras in Ontario have been able to cover all operating costs with the revenue collected from the violations.


  • please put one at victoria & concession, i see cars drive through (ie on concession direction) the red every day, it is an accident waiting to happen for sure!! or the YELLOW should be longer so people have time to think about stopping...

    Laulaupip asked 6 months ago

    The minimum of 10 locations for the proposed red light cameras will be confirmed at a later time if Council approves the program.  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 would also be important to spread the red light camera intersections throughout the City in order to gain the maximum safety benefit.

    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. 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.



  • Has the Highway Traffic Act changed to allow vehicles to enter an intersection before it is clear? If not, then those vehicles sitting in an intersection should be ticketed. (Regardless of whether it goes red or not.) They create a hazard by screening a portion of an active roadway.

    Randy Elliott asked 6 months ago

    As per the Highway Traffic Act on Ontario, vehicles are still not permitted to block an intersection so before entering an intersection, drivers must ensure that they can clear the intersection.  If however a vehicle enters the intersection on green or amber and ends up blocking the intersection due to queuing traffic, the offender will not receive a red light camera ticket.  Only vehicles that enter the intersection on a red light will receive a violation notice.

  • There are 444 Municipalities in Ontario You say 8 have red light cams Not exactly popular are they The cams do not focus just on the intersection, they can see quite well half way down the block Just another way to monitor, spy on your citizens These are not worth the cost I say no

    ken9545 asked 6 months ago

    Please note that the red light cameras are only activated when a vehicle runs a red light.  At all other times, the cameras do not collect any data and do not have the ability to view traffic "down the block".  When the red light camera is activated, the first photo is taken when the vehicle is behind the stop bar and the second photo is taken when the vehicle is within the intersection.  The processing officers are unable to identify people in the photos but they can identify the vehicle and the licence plate of the offender. 

    With respect to the cost, all 8 municipalities currently operating red light cameras in Ontario have been able to cover all operating costs with the revenue collected from the violations.



  • Will this also stop someone who is turning from sitting in the middle of the intersection waiting for a break in traffic?

    Legendkb asked 6 months ago

    As long as the vehicle ENTERS the intersection on a green or amber traffic signal, the left-turning motorist "sitting in the middle of the intersection" will not be ticketed for turning when the traffic signal is red.


  • Traffic lights from the airport to the causeway have become excessive in the last few years. For example, driving from Reddendale to the Leon’s Centre, is 8km with 24 lights and / or pedestrian crossovers (PXOs) . I understand the need for safety, however there must be some accountability for pedestrians to walk a block or two to an existing safe intersection to cross. The recent increase in traffic lights frustrates motorists, resulting in hastening through the yellow / red lights, simply trying to get to their destination. Again, I fully support the need for safety, however forcing motorists to keep stopping every few blocks isn't realistic. Adding red light cameras would only be adding insult to injury. Let’s put some accountability onto pedestrians to use the existing infrastructure and safety measures, rather than adding red light cameras.

    abc123 asked 6 months ago

    With the recent approval of the City’s Active Transportation Implementation Plan and in keeping with Council’s Strategic Priorities, the City is focussed on improving safety and connectivity for pedestrians, particularly children walking to school.  For this reason, more traffic signals for pedestrians and pedestrian crossovers will be installed over the next few years.  Since the pedestrian signals and amber flashers are activated by pedestrians, vehicles should only be delayed if pedestrians are waiting to cross.  As pedestrians are the most vulnerable users of our transportation system, it is important that motorists be cautious when approaching crosswalks and respect the traffic control in place.


  • Is the $500,000 per year to operate the red light camera program at 10 intersections an additional fee? Or is it built into the ticketing price? Or some combination of the both?

    6 months ago

    The cost estimate of $530,000 per/year for 10 intersections is based on each camera installation costing $53,000 per year for 5 years.  Based on a minimum installation of 10 cameras, the total expected cost for the full 5 year commitment is estimated at $2.65 million.  These costs include the fixed base costs associated with each camera including the camera hardware, installation, maintenance and annual MTO licensing fee as well as an estimate of the processing/administration fees that are levied for each violation that is processed. 

    The above cost estimate is based on information from other Ontario municipalities running red light camera programs.  Practically the number of violations per camera are higher in the early years of the program and decline over time as motorists adjust their behaviour at the intersection.  The reduction in violations over time is a measure that the program is effective. 

    For each red light camera violation, the City would receive $260 once the Federally mandated victim surcharge fee ($60) and court fee ($5) is deducted.  This $260 will be used to offset the above costs, any City administration/communications costs, and any surplus would remain within the municipality.  If Council wishes to proceed with the program, staff would likely recommend that the revenue be held in a road safety reserve fund for the duration of the 5-year program to lower the risk that program is not, at a minimum, revenue neutral over the five year time frame.

    There are no additional fees over and above what has been noted in this response. The fine revenue from the tickets is intended to cover all of the costs over the term of the program which are estimated to be $2.65 million.


  • How does Kingston's red light running "problem" differ from the national average? I disagree that these cameras are necessary and don't agree that the assumed change in driver behaviour is worth the increase in surveillance.

    elliotr asked 6 months ago

    Since driver behaviour varies greatly between intersections, between cities and even between provinces, we do not have an average red light violation rate that we could compare to Kingston.  The City did complete red light violation surveys in recent years at several intersections in Kingston and determined that on average, at least 5 drivers per day ran red lights at each intersection.  At one intersection studied, there were almost 30 red light violations on one approach at an intersection.  There is solid evidence that red light cameras reduce the incidence of red light running and the related right-angle collisions.  Since these are the most severe collisions that occur at an intersection, any reduction in red light running will result in fewer people being injured on our roads.


  • How soon can it be up and running. Numerous times I can be ready to go but when my light turns green and I have had vehicles run their red. If I had gone on my green I would have been hit. I usually now wait to make sure traffic is stopping before I go. Much to the frustration of the drivers behind me. I have said for years, if a driver is doing the right thing with cameras, they won't get a ticket. I am happy Kingston is considering this and will feel grateful when it's up and running.

    Miriam Wettlaufer asked 6 months ago

    Staff will be taking a report to Council in late November of this year such that Council can decide whether or not to proceed with the installation of red light cameras at a minimum of 10 intersections.  If Council approves red light cameras, the earliest opportunity to have the cameras operating in the City would be January of 2022.  As it could take up to 2 years to finalize the required agreements and then install the equipment, Council needs to make a decision about this safety program by the end of this year in order to meet the 2022 timeline.


  • Someone asked a question about weather conditions that would make it difficult to stop before the intersection. The answer is obvious. Drive to conditions. Watch out for stale green lights. If the light has been green for a while it's best to slow down in case the light goes caution. Too many drivers accelerate under these conditions and end up being red light runners. A trick I do is to glance at the walk signal. If it is flashing then be prepared for a caution light and slow down. Some intersections have a second countdown. I think all busy intersections should have these.

    Furryface47 asked 6 months ago

    Pedestrian countdown devices are now installed at all new traffic signals where there are crosswalks as well as at all rebuilt traffic signals.  The City has also been adding pedestrian countdowns at key locations as schedule and budget permit.

    The pedestrian countdown devices are timed to allow pedestrians enough time to cross the street.  In the downtown area, the traffic signals operate with “fixed timings” meaning that the length of the green lights stay the same throughout the day and do not respond to changes in the traffic flow.  At these downtown signals, the “zero” on the pedestrian countdown is always displayed at the same time as the amber for vehicles.  Outside of the downtown area, all of the traffic signals are programmed to respond to changes in the traffic flow.  For this reason, the length of green lights is variable so the “zero” on the pedestrian countdown does not always correspond to the amber for vehicles.  Where pedestrian countdown devices are in operation, motorists should be aware that the when the countdown reaches “0”, it may or may not correspond to the beginning of the amber light for vehicles.  Drivers therefore need to focus on the traffic signal intended for vehicles as opposed to the signals for pedestrians.


  • One of my concerns with red light cameras are poor weather related road conditions. I have experienced sliding through an intersection due to poorly salted or cleared roads. I feel I am a very safe driver, however winter driving in Kingston is very stressful, not to mention sharing the road with the most aggressive drivers I have ever experienced in Ontario! Even if one is driving the speed limit, safely slowing down and coming to a stop may be unavoidable if the city is not on top of road clearing. In this instance I feel a ticket would be unwarranted and definitely unfair.

    daya asked 6 months ago

    It is important that motorists adjust their driving behaviour to the current road conditions.  Driving well under the posted speed limit may at times be appropriate during poor weather as slippery conditions can sometimes be present, despite the best efforts of road maintenance crews.

    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.


  • Over half a million dollars for red light cameras at 10 intersections seems pretty steep. Have you considered what other safety measures could be purchased for half a million dollars (or less). For example, reducing speed to 40 kph within the city, more crosswalks, more on-demand lights, better bike lanes and signage.

    np asked 6 months ago

    Of the 8 municipalities that currently operate red light cameras in Ontario, all programs are at least generating enough revenue from the violations to cover all costs to operate the red light program.  The revenues generated by the program can vary greatly between cities since it is dependent on driver behaviour and the number of violations.  Additional revenue beyond what is needed to cover operating expenses, is typically targeted for road safety programs.

    Red light cameras are just one tool recommended to improve road safety.  Other safety measures will continue to form part of a comprehensive road safety strategy that include targeted police enforcement, speed limit and signage reviews, intersection upgrades and traffic signal timing adjustments.  With the recent approval of the City’s Active Transportation Implementation Plan, safer and more connected facilities for pedestrians and cyclists are being prioritized over the next few years.  We are also completing a detailed review of school crossings with plans to upgrade these pedestrian crossings as required.  This year, the City installed 3 new traffic signals for pedestrians as follows: 1) Sir John A Macdonald Blvd & Norman Rogers Drive, 2) Johnson Street at Macdonnell Street (school crossing) and at 3) Front Road and Lakeview Avenue (school crossing).  All of these safety measures are expected to work together to improve the level of safety City-wide for all road users.


  • I am very excited and have been waiting a long time for this program. Are you still able to make a right hand turn on the red light? Are bikes and other road users who run red lights also included in this program?

    Puckrina asked 6 months ago

    In accordance with the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, as long as the vehicle comes to a stop before making a right turn, the motorist will not be ticketed for turning right when the light is red.

    Although cyclists are subject to the same laws regarding stopping at red lights as motor vehicles, there is currently no system in place that could identify cyclists for a red light camera violation.


  • If I understand correctly, no ticket will be issued if the vehicle is past the stop bar when the signal turns red. Is there any data indicating speed increases of vehicles encountering amber signals, in an attempt to "beat the line?" In that regards, what is the threshold for ticketing? A vehicle that is 100% past the stop bar? If so, is there only a single camera angle to determine this?

    Mr Frugal asked 6 months ago

    The red light camera takes 2 photographs. The first photo is taken when the 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. A driver that enters the intersection on a green or amber traffic signal will not be ticketed by a red light camera system.  Although the City of Kingston has not completed detailed studies regarding motorists increasing their speed to travel through the amber or red, general observations in the City certainly demonstrate that this regularly happens.

    It is important to note that the violation notice for a red light camera infraction shows the number of seconds after the beginning of red that the driver entered the intersection as well as the speed at which the vehicle travelled through the intersection. The Provincial Offenses Officers reviewing the photographs can determine whether or not the vehicle stopped just past the stop bar or travelled through the intersection on the red from the position of the vehicle in the intersection as well as the speed of the vehicle. 


  • Are there any jurisdictions where this program has proven to be revenue neutral? What about solutions to resolve the added anxiety drivers will deal with using these intersections (it is real), and the negative opinions it will generate about our city?

    Codylink asked 6 months ago

    Of the 8 municipalities that currently operate red light cameras in Ontario, all programs are at least generating enough revenue to cover the costs to operate the program.  The revenues generated by the program can vary greatly between cities since it is dependent on driver behaviour and the number of violations.  Additional revenue beyond what is needed to cover operating expenses, is typically targeted for road safety programs.

    Automated enforcement, including red light cameras and photo radar are very common in Canada and throughout other parts of the world. The programs in the 8 municipalities in Ontario have been so successful that these municipalities continue to add more red light cameras.  If Council directs staff to proceed with the implementation of red light cameras, education will be a key component so that motorists have a better understanding of how they work.  It is hoped that residents and visitors would see the red light cameras and the required signage and understand that Kingston is serious about road safety and wants to hold motorists accountable for aggressive behaviour such that driving behaviour will improve throughout the City.


  • Is this a tax grab? Can you fix the roads first and then worry about red light violators. Right now just getting to the red light without wrecking your car is a chore.

    mmoorley asked 6 months ago

    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.


  • I walk, cycle and drive. I am very happy to hear that drivers who do not stop at a red before turning right will be ticketed. I see that a lot. The more that all users of roadways and sidewalks pay attention to each other the better. I have experienced drivers aggressively passing me when I am driving at or even above the speed limit on roads such as Sir John A., Bath Rd. and Taylor-Kidd. As a cyclist I avoid those roads because I do not have a death wish. The changes you are proposing are positive - keep up the good work at making our streets safer!

    diamyco asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your comments!

  • Is there any evidence that red light cameras improve safety at intersections? How do they rank in effectiveness versus other initiatives (actual policing, removing licences from dangerous drivers, better intersection design, light timing, etc.)?

    Codylink asked 6 months ago

    Red light cameras are just one tool used to improve safety at signalized intersections.  Other safety measures will continue to form part of a comprehensive road safety strategy that include police enforcement, intersection upgrades and traffic signal timing adjustments.  All of these safety measures can work together to improve the level of safety at a given location.

    Because red light cameras have been operating in Ontario for almost 20 years, the available evidence is clear that they reduce right-angle collisions hence serious injuries and fatalities. During the past 5 years, there was an average of 68 right-angle collisions per year at signalized intersections in Kingston.  Red light cameras are expected to reduce these by a minimum of 25% but more likely much greater.  When York Region installed red light cameras in 2013, the number of right-angle collisions was reduced from 71 per year to 20 per year.  The City of London installed red light cameras in 2017 and so far have seen a reduction in right-angle collisions of 28%.  We will have more collision information available for the November report to Council.


  • Has anyone considered that fixing issues with the intersections rather than punishing drivers might be a better way to reduce collisions? That some of the violations are not due to malice or aggression but rather genuine accidents due to poor design? There is a huge amount of independent research showing that red light cameras actually increase the number of accidents at an intersection. Granted, they are typically less severe, however other methods such as proper light timing, more visible lights, increased amber time, better line painting and all-red intervals actually greatly reduce accidents all around? Why use a method that has been proven to increase accidents when there are plenty that work better? If I'm being cynical, I'd suspect that although the FAQ proposes the project should be revenue neutral, there's a hope that it will generate revenue for the city. If I'm not being cynical, well then either there's no budget for this high priority item to implement solutions that cost money, or we're just taking the lazy route.

    mg.mackie asked 7 months ago

    Red light cameras are just one safety measure to improve safety at signalized intersections.  The City regularly monitors traffic flow and makes traffic signal timing improvements and intersection upgrades when possible.  The City’s new Vision Zero Road Safety Plan will also provide guidance to improve safety measures based on the 4 E’s of road safety: Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Engagement.  The 5th ‘E” – Evaluation – will be used once safety measures have been implemented in order to evaluate their effectiveness.  The collision data from the red light cameras that are already operating in Ontario show that during the initial year of installation, read-end collisions could increase by up to 15%.  As drivers become more educated about the cameras and learn that only vehicles entering on a red (and still behind the stop bar at the beginning of the red light), they tend to stop “slamming the brakes to come to a screeching halt” when faced with an amber.  The increase in rear-end collisions is expected to decline after the first year or so.  As you have noted, rear-end collisions are typically property damage only whereas the right-angle collisions that are being prevented, tend to be very serious collisions, often resulting in injury.

    City staff are often asked to increase the lengths of the amber and all-red time clearance times at signalized intersections.  It is important to note that 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.


  • I am in favour of red light cameras. There is not a day goes by driving in Kingston when I do not see someone run a red light. And this is from a standing stop at an intersection. The only proviso is that the photo be snapped only of cars entering an intersection after the light has turned red.

    JLicharson asked 7 months ago

    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 2 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.


  • Enforce the law, already! The speed limit is ignored all the time on Sir. John A. I have a monitoring device in my car for cheaper insurance so I only go the limit, I am constantly being honked at or passed. When it recently dropped to 50 for a section they still are going 75 or more. Photo radar with huge fines is what is needed. By not enforcing the law, I now wait when the light is green as I can be assured that several from the other direction will run the red. I am sick of paying medical costs for entitled idiots who feel the law doesn't apply to them. Raising this as an issue -again- is a make-work project for Council etc. Do you job, have the police enforce the law. I am not impressed that you can't seem to actually do anything but talk.

    Elizabeth Lee asked 7 months ago

    The Province of Ontario is currently in the final stages to consider the approval of photo radar for school zones and community safety zones.  If approved, Kingston City Council will most likely have an opportunity within the next few years to consider photo radar as an automated enforcement tool.

    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 we have specific data on the number of accidents caused by camera-targeted infractions? (Is this program going to have any affect?)

    Tosea asked 7 months ago

    The focus of the red light camera program is to reduce right-angle collisions at signalized intersections.  The reduction of right-angle collisions is key since they are a severe form of collision that often results in serious injuries.

    During the past 5 years, there was an average of 68 right-angle collisions per year at signalized intersections in Kingston.  Red light cameras are expected to reduce these by a minimum of 25% but more likely much greater.  When York Region installed red light cameras in 2013, the number of right-angle collisions was reduced from 71 per year to 20 per year.  The City of London installed red light cameras in 2017 and so far have seen a reduction in right-angle collisions of 28%.  We will have more collision information available for the November report to Council.


  • Why are all the red lights different, when the walk hand counts down to one you slow down ready to stop but the light does not change for some time in some cases, they should all be uniform!

    Wolsey asked 7 months ago

    The pedestrian countdown devices are timed to allow pedestrians enough time to cross the street.  In the downtown area, the traffic signals operate with “fixed timings” meaning that the length of the green lights stay the same throughout the day and do not respond to changes in the traffic flow.  At these downtown signals, the “zero” on the pedestrian countdown is always displayed at the same time as the amber for vehicles.  Outside of the downtown area, all of the traffic signals are programmed to respond to changes in the traffic flow.  For this reason, the length of green lights is variable so the “zero” on the pedestrian countdown does not always correspond to the amber for vehicles.  Where pedestrian countdown devices are in operation, motorists should be aware that the when the countdown reaches “0”, it may or may not correspond to the beginning of the amber light for vehicles.  It is therefore important for drivers to focus on the traffic signal intended for vehicles as opposed to the signals for pedestrians.

  • While cameras at lights are a good idea, why aren't we considering speed cameras in residential areas or areas of high traffic? I live in upper Victoria and I watch how cars accelerate between stop signs with no regard for anybody else in the neighbourhood.

    Richard asked 7 months ago

    The Province of Ontario is currently in the final stages to consider the approval of photo radar for school zones and community safety zones.  If approved, Kingston City Council will most likely have an opportunity within the next few years to consider photo radar as an automated enforcement tool.

  • How will the city handle cars stopped just a little too far over the line that get ticketed, cars stuck over the line due to traffic, and cars moving through the intersection on a yellow light? How is electronic police work going to do anything other than take money from innocent Kingston citizens?

    Ericmci996 asked 7 months ago

    When the red light camera is activated, the registered owner of the vehicle only receives a ticket if the photograph shows that the vehicle is clearly within the intersection when the light is red.  The photographs are reviewed by highly trained provincial offenses officers who will “throw out” a violation if the photograph shows that the vehicle managed to get stopped just past the stop bar. The red light cameras only ticket motorists who enter the intersection after the light has turned red.  Since this type of aggressive driving can result in very serious collisions, the red light cameras will make these motorists accountable for their behaviour.


  • What if we were to ask the question, "Why do people run red lights?' Might one of the reasons be frustration at the number of traffic lights in Kingston. Surely it is time for an intelligent review of 'our' traffic light usage. Who knows, perhaps with better control, or less lights impeding traffic on the causeway the need for the expensive third crossing might be obviated.

    Barrie Chamberlain asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your comments.

  • Why are we thinking about wasting taxpayer dollars on something the majority of the city wouldn't want, didn't vote for, and already turned down?

    Cadaren asked 7 months ago

    During the last week of March 2019, City Council met in Committee of the Whole over the course of three evenings to work through its strategic priorities for 2019-2022. At the end of the three evenings, Council, in Committee of the Whole, approved the following five priorities:

    1. Increase housing affordability

    2. Improve walkability, roads and transportation

    3. Demonstrate leadership on climate action

    4. Strengthen economic development opportunities

    5. Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces

      City Commissioners and Directors worked collaboratively to develop an implementation plan with options to achieve Council’s strategic priorities. In May of this year, City Council approved the Strategic Priority Implementation Plan based on the 5 priorities noted above.  For the priority area “Improve walkability, roads and transportation”, the plan includes “Enhance public safety through active transportation and a focus on pedestrian access and enforcement” and “Consider incorporating recommendations from Kingston’s Road Safety Plan and other measures such as automated enforcement as necessary.”

      The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan that Council just endorsed recommends red light cameras as just one of the tools to improve road safety in the City.  Based on the direction in the City’s Strategic Implementation Plan and the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, we will be providing Council with updated information such that they can make an informed decision later in November about whether or not to install red light cameras or not by 2022.


  • Is everyone going to be held to the same standard? For instance, city buses frequently make left-hand turns AFTER their light has turned red. I understand they are on a schedule, but red light running is red light running. If enforcement is not universal, the city has done nothing to solve the dangerous act of running a red light.

    Bill Brooks asked 7 months ago

    Red light cameras will treat all vehicles equally.  If a bus enters the intersection after the light has turned red, a violation notice will indeed be sent to Kingston Transit and the ticket must be paid.  As with any other vehicle, if the bus pulls into the intersection when the light is green or amber and then turns left when the signal is red, the bus will not receive a ticket.  Education for all road users including Kingston Transit, Public Works, Police, Fire, Ambulance and funeral homes will be key if the City moves forward with the red light camera program.


  • Yes we need to get people to stop running red lights but not sure if camera's will do it . What i have read they are very expensive investment .Plus it will be only 4 or 5 locations . What about all the other 100's of lights and stop signs that get raced thru at the last minute .

    Vollick asked 7 months ago

    Red light cameras have been operating in Ontario since 2000 and can now be found in 8 municipalities.  Research has shown that red light cameras reduce the incidence of red light running by at least half.  The staff report going to Council later in November will inform Council that if they are in favour of implementing a red light camera program, the cameras must be installed at a minimum of 10 intersections.  Since the intersections with red light cameras must be signed on all approaches with warning signs, improved driver behaviour can be expected throughout the City since the signs and the threat of a ticket remind motorists to drive less aggressively at all times. 

    Although 10 cameras could cost more than $500,000 per year to operate, all 8 municipalities in Ontario operating red light cameras, are generating enough revenue through violations to cover all operating expenses.


  • Why are we wasting time and money AGAIN over this question that has been ANSWERED and discussed at Council SEVERAL YEARS ago? How many times must we go OVER and OVER the same thing???

    Wthwing asked 7 months ago

    During the last week of March 2019, City Council met in Committee of the Whole over the course of three evenings to work through its strategic priorities for 2019-2022. At the end of the three evenings, Council, in Committee of the Whole, approved the following five priorities:

    1. Increase housing affordability

    2. Improve walkability, roads and transportation

    3. Demonstrate leadership on climate action

    4. Strengthen economic development opportunities

    5. Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces

      City Commissioners and Directors worked collaboratively to develop an implementation plan with options to achieve Council’s strategic priorities. In May of this year, City Council approved the Strategic Priority Implementation Plan based on the 5 priorities noted above.  For the priority area “Improve walkability, roads and transportation”, the plan includes “Enhance public safety through active transportation and a focus on pedestrian access and enforcement” and “Consider incorporating recommendations from Kingston’s Road Safety Plan and other measures such as automated enforcement as necessary.”

      The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan that Council just endorsed recommends red light cameras as just one of the tools to improve road safety in the City.  Based on the direction in the City’s Strategic Implementation Plan and the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, we will be providing Council with updated information such that they can make an informed decision later in November about whether or not to install red light cameras or not by 2022.


  • I agree with red light cameras but more importantly speed cameras. It seems so archaic to have speed bumps where you have to slow down slower than listed speed to go over them and then speed up again to maintain the speed limit. This is very inefficiant for fuel consumption (environmental concerns) and speed could be better cotrolled by newer portable technology. Both these changes could lower the police responsibilities for traffic control ie cost

    Jack Leake asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your comments.  As you may be aware, the Province of Ontario is currently in the final stages to consider the approval of photo radar for school zones and community safety zones.  If approved, Kingston City Council will most likely have an opportunity within the next few years to consider photo radar as an automated enforcement tool.




  • Comment: totally agree with the comment below from Mike. It is incredible that is has taken this much time for the city to get to this point. It used to be red plus one turning on red light, now I have seen up to 4. People running red lights through an intersection is a common occurrence every day. I now look both ways before proceeding on my green. Every major intersection in this city is this way. Princess and Gardiners, Centennial at Bath, Centennial at Taylor Kidd no major intersection is immune. These drivers do this because the chances of them getting caught is slim to nil - that is unless they run into someone else. The city must initiate this program soonest before we have another fatality on our roads.

    Ettore asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for sharing these comments.

  • Interesting what studies were used to demonstrate that this would reduce accidents? Only studies that supported your one sided ideals. There are far more studies that actually say there is 0 reduction. So why are you trying to trick the average tax payer whom you work for?? https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiyyPPs8dvkAhVBvZ4KHd0PCccQzPwBegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fphys.org%2Fnews%2F2018-07-red-light-cameras-dont-traffic-accidents.html&psig=AOvVaw10nqVvxv4VCiuKBuIaQOk8&ust=1568948255747236kn

    Gunther asked 7 months ago

    All of the collision information that City staff will be referencing will be from other Ontario cities currently operating the red light camera program.  The Ontario program is almost 20 years old and we respect the data that we are being provided from other municipalities.

  • I support red light cameras however, all the lights in the city need to be synchronized first. Some lights have the count down feature displayed some do not, all should have this and the ones that already do are not set up the same. Some turn yellow immediately upon the second countdown completion, others do not and stay green longer, this is confusing and dangerous to drivers, if you anticipate the count down and get ready to stop and that particular light is set for a couple of seconds longer on green, you could get rear ended and it would be your fault as you had legal time to get through, others turn yellow immediately, this needs to be addressed regardless of red light camera installation but will also aid in clarity for the use of red light cameras. Response please?

    Donna Shetler asked 7 months ago

    Traffic signals in the City are co-ordinated such that stops and delays for motorists are minimized as much as possible.  Some of the factors that affect signal co-ordination are vehicle speed, distance between intersections, congestion and the variable length of green lights on the main street and on the side streets.  As traffic signals are usually co-ordinated for the posted speed limit, motorists driving well above or below the speed limit may find that they arrive at more red lights.

    Ideal or "perfect" signal co-ordination is usually possible on one-way streets such as Brock Street and Johnson Street.  On two way-streets, perfect co-ordination is usually not possible for both directions of travel.  For example, if the traffic signals along Gardiners Road are timed so that northbound vehicles always arrive at green lights, then the southbound vehicles would have to stop at several red lights and visa versa.  Where traffic volumes are relatively similar in both directions, the traffic signals are timed so that the "red light arrivals" and "green light arrivals" are balanced as best as possible in both directions.  When the traffic flow is much heavier in one direction, the signals are co-ordinated to favour the flow of the highest number of vehicles. 

    The pedestrian countdown devices are timed to allow pedestrians enough time to cross the street.  In the downtown area, the traffic signals operate with “fixed timings” meaning that the length of the green lights stay the same throughout the day and do not respond to changes in the traffic flow.  At these downtown signals, the “zero” on the pedestrian countdown is always displayed at the same time as the amber for vehicles.  Outside of the downtown area, all of the traffic signals are programmed to respond to changes in the traffic flow.  For this reason, the length of green lights is variable so the “zero” on the pedestrian countdown does not always correspond to the amber for vehicles.  Where pedestrian countdown devices are in operation, motorists should be aware that the when the countdown reaches “0”, it may or may not correspond to the beginning of the amber light for vehicles.  It is therefore important for drivers to focus on the traffic signal intended for vehicles as opposed to the signals for pedestrians.


  • My husband and I are avid walkers and street intersections need to be monitored carefully for drivers making right turns where pedestrians have the right of way. Often, drivers will rush a right turn on a pedestrian walking light in order to beat oncoming traffic. We have almost been hit a number of times. Or they will make a wide turn in order to make that right turn.

    Diane n Payne asked 7 months ago

    Since red light cameras will ticket motorists that do not come to a stop before making a right turn on a red, pedestrian safety will be improved.  We will continue to look at other safety measures through our Vision Zero program for vehicles that turn right on a green light and do not yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.


  • What if I am the registered vehicle owner but was not driving my car?? How are you ticketing me for an offence that I did not commit

    Tlp asked 7 months ago

    The red light camera ticket is indeed mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle since there is currently no way to identify the driver.  This is standard for automated enforcement programs, whether it be red light cameras or photo radar.  For this reason, vehicle owners need to be very mindful of who is driving their vehicle and the responsibilities that come with that.


  • Comment. Taylor-Kidd at Milford is TERRIBLE. Every time (really) that I'm at the intersection at least one driver and sometimes 2 or 3 blatantly run the red light on TKB in the direction of Gardiners Rd. Visitors have commented that drivers run red lights all over the city. There are too many unsynchronized lights in the city and the city's preoccupation with pedestrian crossing lights is making things worse - they stay red for too long, imho. Frustration with lights is still no excuse to ignore them though. I unreservedly support a camera at TKB and Milford.

    Mike779 asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your comments. The selection of sites for future red light cameras will consider factors such as collision history and frequency of red light violations.