July 23, 2014 6:47 pm

Town officials say red light cameras proving effective in Halton

MISSISSAUGA –  More than a year into a red light camera program in Halton, town officials say they are seeing fewer serious collisions at the intersections.

The tall, grey metal boxes have been standing guard over seven Halton region intersections since they were installed in March, 2012.

“We have seen, at those intersections, a 60 per cent reduction in t-bone, or right angle collisions,” says Halton Region commissioner of public works, Jim Harnum said. “And those can often be some of the most serious in an intersection.”

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Harnum also noted there hasn’t been an increase in rear-end collision.  The possibility of an increase in rear-end collisions was a concern when the cameras were first installed presumably because cars would come to a quick stop where they otherwise would have driven through an intersection.

A 2003 study by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, found a 50 per cent increase in rear-end crashes at intersections that have photo enforcement.

Region officials want to add five more cameras to its roster by the end of 2014 and are investigating possible locations using road and collision statistics compiled by municipal staff.

Harnum says a decision will be made on the locations by the end of the summer of 2014.

Each of the red light cameras costs an estimated $67,000 to operate. The region has spent approximately $469,000 to operate all seven operating lights.  The cost includes  the maintenance of the lights themselves, as well as the issuing of tickets.

Since the program’s launch, in March of 2012, until July 23, 2014, 3,078 fines have been issued – making the region more than $1.2 million.

The fines are $325, as set by the Ontario Highway and Traffic Act, of which, $60 goes to the province of Ontario’s Victim Fine Surcharge.

“Revenues from the red light cameras and other types of fines are processed by the city of Burlington court services.  Net revenues from the operation of the courts are shared among the region and the local municipalities. The net revenues (if there are any) are not specifically allocated to the region’s Red Light Camera program,”  Harnum said.

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