Toronto City Council recently passed a new framework that will make it a lot easier for motorists to dispute automated red light and speed camera tickets, however, the change does come with a notable drawback.
Similar to the way parking ticket disputes are dealt with, automated red light and speed camera tickets will soon be moved from the provincial courts to a city-run online system, meaning you won’t have to physically go to a court to fight your ticket.
“Adopting an administrative penalty structure for Red Light Camera and Automated Speed Enforcement disputes will move forward Vision Zero, increase public safety, and increase efficient dispute resolution with the additional benefit of allowing more efficient use of limited court time in provincial courts,” city staff said in a report.
“It will also allow the City to better manage the addition of cameras to both programs as per Council’s direction, while maintaining a speedier dispute resolution timeline.”
Although the change will help relieve the backlog of ticket disputes, the plan will also double the number of automated speed enforcement cameras from 75 to 150 by 2026, with the addition of 74 new staff positions to manage the system.
The change is expected to rake in $71.27 million in net revenue by 2026, a significant increase from the $52.45 million that’s expected to come in this year before the new streamlined process is introduced.
“The enforcement of regulatory offences, including those for Red Light Cameras and Automated Speed Enforcement, are not designed to be revenue generation tools for municipalities,” a city staff report reads.
“The fines and penalties associated with these offences are for the purpose of deterring behaviour which has been determined to be a risk to public safety.”
City council unanimously passed the motion, and the changes will take effect on Nov. 1, 2024.
“It’s about moving the system forward, but slowing down cars,” Mayor Olivia Chow told reporters. “I do know that in some instances if the car is driving slower, less injury and maybe even life saved.
“By speeding up our efforts to increase this kind of enforcement so that we can get more cameras on the road, it is saying to the driver ‘obey the law. Slow down or else there will be consequences.'”