The City of Kingston hosted two public information sessions on Monday as the city considers whether to introduce red-light cameras at 10 intersections.
After a brief presentation, a panel of city officials and traffic enforcement officers fielded questions from the public.
“If you are just over the white line, even though you have stopped at the intersection, I’ve heard that the camera would pick that up and give you a ticket. Is that true?” asks a female resident in the audience.
The answer from city officials is no.
According to city officials, there is a lot of misinformation about red-light cameras.
A report on red-light cameras with opinions from the public will be presented to council later this year.
Red-light cameras have been operating in Ontario for almost 20 years, and according to the eight municipalities who operate the system, they say data has proven an improved level of safety at intersections for all users.
“What we are hearing is that the incidences of red-light running can be reduced by at least half,” says Deanna Green, Manager of the Traffic Division for the City of Kingston, “and we can reduce right-angle type collisions, which are some severe types of collisions, that often result in serious injuries.”
“We expect to reduce these by at least 25 per cent and probably more.”
The City of Kingston has also opened an online portal encouraging residents to submit their questions to city staff about the 10-camera intersection program, at a cost of over $500,000 a year.
The online Q&A portion of this debate continues online until 4 p.m. on Oct. 11.
“Even though our Road Safety Plan identified and recommended red-light cameras as a tool for enforcement, it certainly has not been approved by council,” says Green.
“And we will be taking a report to council later in November — and ultimately it will be a council decision, with respect to whether red-light cameras are installed in Kingston or not.”
If approved by council in mid-November, it will then take the Traffic Division two years to collect the needed data and then decide on which 10 intersections a red-light camera could be installed.