Mobile Speed Cameras are in Full Effect!
Tend to speed while driving? Pay attention.
This will be the first long weekend since the ticketing system for the mobile speeding cameras installed throughout the city will send you speeding tickets, so while rushing to start your holiday, or driving home to get some rest before another hard work week begins –take your time on the road. As of July 6, 2020, mobile speed cameras located strategically around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) –including Durham, York and Peel Regions, have been issuing speeding tickets to owners of vehicles caught speeding, without regard to how fast your car was going.
What Are They?
They are cameras that take a picture of your speed and licence plate on the road and send you a ticket in the mail, without you having undergone a traffic stop. Even if you don’t see a police officer, there may be an Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) camera and speed detection device in place on the street you’re on. Streets with ASEs are picked based on the number of collisions for the street per year, vehicle speed data, the daily traffic volume, number of students within walking distance, and requests from the public for the placement of an ASE on the street. Mobile ASEs move location every 3-6 months to have full impact on the city, and the new locations will have a posted warning 90 days before the camera takes residence.
Why Do We Have Them?
The idea of these cameras is to decrease speeding in specifically targeted streets and to increase safety. So far the government has expressed an intention to use these speed cameras in community safety zones that are highly impacted by speeding and collisions, so they’re limiting it to roads with posted speed limits of less than 80km/h, but this doesn’t mean there won’t be a widespread roll-out in our future. The current plan also allows traffic enforcement officers to focus their attention on roads over 80km/h so regardless of what road you're on, you don’t escape a ticket.
Where Are They?
There’s at least 50 locations with ASEs in the Toronto core. This is in addition to the red light cameras (cameras that capture cars that enter the intersection on a red light), and the lowering of speed limits across Toronto streets. If you live in the Toronto core and want to find the cameras in your neighbourhood, check out the City of Toronto Speed Camera Map. If you’re outside of the Toronto core and you’re a Google Maps or Waze user, you’ll not only see the posted speed limit for the road you’re on with these apps, but you’ll be able to see the real-time location of red light cameras, traffic enforcement officers, and speed cameras as you're driving.
How It Works:
A camera and speed measurement device (ASE) is placed on the street to target cars driving in excess of the posted speed limit. A sign is usually accompanies the ASE in order to alert drivers to the need to pay extra attention to the posted speed limit. The ASE takes a picture of your license plate while you’re speeding along minding your own business and sends it to provincial offence officers to review. In about 3 weeks, tickets are sent to the car owner’s home address for payment.
Consequences of Being Caught by a Speed Camera
You pay a speeding fine. How much you pay is determined by the number of kilometres you’re caught driving above the speed limit, and that is subject to set fines as outlined in Schedule D of the Highway Traffic Act. The main thing you need to know is that it’s $5 per km fine when you are less than 19km above the posted speed limit, then its $7.50 per km for 20-29 km, and $12 per km for 30km and above. Of course this fine includes a 20% victim surcharge, as well as court costs. Also, if you’re driving more than 50km above the posted speed limit, you’re subject to the court. The nice thing is that right now there will be no demerit points associated with the ASE speeding ticket, nor will your driving record be impacted. However, expect that to change if the current fines are not an effective deterrent.