Mayor John Tory announced that the 50 automated speed enforcement cameras, that have been installed across Toronto, will begin issuing tickets to drivers who speed starting on July 6.
“I am confident that the program will curb excessive speeding.”
In late December 2019, the Ontario government approved regulations to allow municipalities to use automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras.
Cameras and warning signs were then installed at 50 locations across Toronto. The province required a 90-day warning period to drivers in advance of using the new cameras to issue tickets.
Tory said the program was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic which began in mid-March. However, Tory added that over the last few months although car traffic has decreased, there has been a spike in speeding and stunt driving.
He said between March 23 and April 27, the Toronto police saw a 600 per cent increase in stunt driving.
“The days of warning letters have come to an end,” Tory said.
The new ASE systems were installed in community safety zones, near school zones, and to ensure an even distribution, there are two systems per Ward across the city. The systems can rotate as the city deems necessary.
If a vehicle is caught speeding in an automated speed enforcement site, an image of the vehicle will be captured and stored in the system, Tory said.
The city said the images will be reviewed by provincial offence officers, and then tickets will be issued and mailed to the owner of the vehicle, regardless of who was driving, within 30 days.
If convicted, the only penalty is a fine, no demerit points will be issued, and the registered owner’s driving record will not be impacted, the city said.
“An individual caught speeding between 1 and 19 km/h over the posted speed limit will receive a set fine of $5 per kilometre. If travelling between 20 and 29 km/h over the posted speed limit, the set fine will be $7.50 per kilometre. For anything between 30 and 49 km/h over the limit, the set fine will be $12 per kilometre,” the city said in a press release.
“For example, if a vehicle is detected speeding 49 km/h over the posted speed limit, the total payable fine amount would be $718. This includes a set fine of $588, a victim surcharge of $125 and $5 in applicable court costs,” according to the press release.
“There is a simple way to avoid that cost. Don’t speed,” Tory said.
According to data from nine of the 50 sites, more than 142,731 vehicles were speeding above the posted limit between January 27 and June 18.
Tory said one driver on Jameson Avenue was travelling 163 km/h in a zone posted at 40 km/h. Another driver on Renforth Drive clocked 152 km/h.
On Silver Springs Boulevard in Scarborough, a driver was caught speeding at 111 km/h in a 30 km/h posted zone.
“This is about making our roads safer and saving lives. I’m confident the program will help slow drivers down in zones where children and older adults are likely to travel,” Tory said.