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Everything You Need to Know About Toronto’s New Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras

We've got all the details on the brand-new speed cameras around the city.

Alex Kelly
by Alex Kelly

Toronto residents woke up to a new reality on July 7th, 2020: automated speed enforcement cameras were officially active on city streets. An enforcement measure designed to target areas of high collisions and speeding, automated speed enforcement is a high tech solution to keep our streets safe. 

Technology solution to dangerous driving 

Automated speed enforcement uses a photo radar to measure speed. When the speed is over the posted amount, it’ll record the license plate of the offending car using the captured photo as indisputable evidence. This is then traced to the vehicle’s owner, and a ticket is issued. As per Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act Schedule D, the penalty is a fine for the vehicle owner based on the number of kilometres over the speed limit, plus related administrative fees. While it’s still considered a conviction, there are no demerit points associated with a photo radar offence, nor will your driving record with Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation be impacted.

Inspiring better behaviours

The use of technology for speed enforcement has been met with much conflict, with photo radar machines being defaced or even stolen – quite the feat, considering each device weighs over 800 pounds. While the motivations for theft and vandalism are unclear, the city hopes that the cameras will inspire safer behaviours. Mike Barnet, the Manager of Automated Enforcement for the City of Toronto, is hopeful that this will create a “‘halo’ effect, where driving behaviours change even where cameras are not present.”

Automated speed enforcement cameras shouldn’t be a surprise, as Toronto maps the location of each of the 50 cameras spread across the city. Barnet notes that cameras will move every three months, with the installation of notice signage 90-days prior to the cameras being activated. When the cameras are in place and activated, the surrounding community will have signage notifying drivers as they enter an area where cameras are in use. Cameras are located in Community Safety Zones near schools, with exact locations determined based on collision and speeding data. 

Creating safer communities 

Barnet reminds drivers that this is one part of a larger mission in Toronto, complimenting the city’s Vision Zero plan. He’s hopeful that, “[automated speed enforcement] will result in a new normal of driver behaviour in relation to speed limit compliance, especially in School and Community Safety Zones where we have a regular presence of vulnerable road users.” 

Your best bet to avoid a ticket from automated speed enforcement? Drive the speed limit. The sophisticated technology will record and fine a driver for even one kilometre over the posted limit. Together, we can all do our part to protect everyone on the road, and move around safely. 


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