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All About Ontario’s Speed Enforcement Cameras

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

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by Team Onlia
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In Ontario, if you drive by a white box on the side of a road that looks a bit like a robot or a trash can, you’d better hope you weren’t going too fast.

That box is a speed enforcement camera that uses a photo radar to measure speed. If you were speeding when you drove past it, the camera would have recorded your licence plate. That image of your plate would then be matched to your car registration, which has your address. And before you know it, there’s a ticket in your mailbox with the captured photo as indisputable evidence.

How much is a speed enforcement camera fine in Ontario?

As per Schedule D of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, your fine will be based on how fast you were going:

  • 1-19 kilometres per hour over the maximum speed limit — $5.00 per km over
  • 20-29 kilometres per hour over the maximum speed limit — $7.50 per km over
  • 30-49 kilometres per hour over the maximum speed limit — $12.50 per km over

In addition to the per-kilometre fine, a $5.00 court cost is added, as is a victim fine surcharge (VFS) that goes towards fighting crime in Ontario. That VFS is calculated based on how much you were charged for speeding. If your infraction was valued under $50.00, you’d pay an extra $10.00. The rest of the grid is as follows:

  • $51.00–$75.00 — $15.00
  • $76.00–$100.00 — $20.00
  • $101.00–$150.00 — $25.00
  • $151.00–$200.00 — $35.00
  • $201.00–$250.00 — $50.00
  • $251.00–$300.00 — $60.00
  • $301.00–$350.00 — $75.00
  • $351.00–$400.00 — $85.00
  • $401.00–$450.00 — $95.00
  • $451.00–$500.00 — $110.00
  • $501.00–$1000.00 — $125.00
  • $1000.00 + — 25% of the fine

So, being snapped going 24 km over the limit would earn you a $200 ticket. It’s steep, but certainly better than a ticket from a live officer.

Speed Enforcement Camera Tickets vs. Officer-Issued Speeding Tickets

Unlike getting stopped by a real police officer, you won’t be docked demerit points if you’re convicted, and your driving record won’t be affected because the camera will have no way of knowing if you were the one driving.

But as the owner of the car, it’s your ticket to pay regardless.

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Will Speed Camera Tickets Affect Insurance?

No, for the same reason demerit points aren’t issued. Without knowing who was driving the car, the offence can’t be added to a driving history.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Speed Camera Ticket?

Nothing initially.

But then you’ll eventually have to renew your licence and you’ll be in for a surprise: you will have to pay the ticket (with interest) or you’ll be denied your renewal and it will be illegal for you to drive in Ontario.

That’s why it makes sense to just pay the ticket and be done with it — especially since you won’t be losing demerit points or damaging your driving record nor will your car insurance be affected.

Will More Speed Cameras Be Popping Up Around Ontario?

Since Toronto’s 50 speed cameras issue over 80,000 tickets in three months, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll seeing more automated cameras around the province.

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 — that's 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.

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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