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Collisions down, revenue up since red light cameras came to London

A sign warns drivers about a red-light camera, installed at the intersection of Adelaide St. and Queen's Ave. The intersection's red light camera caught more infractions than any other in the city. Jaclyn Carbone / 980 CFPL

City hall will get a glimpse of how London’s red light cameras are performing on Wednesday.

The civic works committee will hear from an annual report that shows 2018 had a reduction in collisions, injuries and deaths at the 10 intersections red light cameras inhabit.

The report also revealed more than 6,000 infractions were issued thanks to cameras, but there was an absence of data for the intersection of Oxford and Adelaide streets since the camera there was installed only late last year.

READ MORE: Red-light camera installation underway in London

For Graham Larkin, the reduction comes as no surprise. Larkin is the executive director of Vision Zero Canada, which belongs to a multi-national road safety project that aims to achieve zero fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic.

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Larkin told 980 CFPL that red light cameras act as a great deterrence for dangerous driving.

“If someone runs a red light and gets a hefty fine … what happens is they really think twice about doing it again and the numbers go down,” Larkin said.

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While the program was designed to be cost neutral, the report shows the city netted nearly $500,000 in profit since the cameras were first installed.

On top of the profit, Larkin said red light cameras are also lending a helping hand to police forces.

“People have to look at the evidence of the camera and grab the licence … but it’s far more objective and far more efficient,” Larkin said.

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READ MORE: Should London use photo radar in school zones?

Larkin added that while there’s no denying the cameras’ positive impact on road safety, many components are still needed to maintain that level of security.

“You have to work on many, many fronts at once,” Larkin said.

“Not only red light cameras, but I would also say speeding cameras.”

Speeding cameras may be on the way as the report added that city staff are part of a working group of Ontario municipalities that is exploring the use of automated speed enforcement for communities across the province.

London’s first red light camera was installed in June 2017 at Springbank Drive and Wonderland Road.

— with files from Christian D’Avino and Jake Jeffrey.

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