Red-light cameras helping to reduce collisions

Photo by Miranda Chant,

A drop in the number of collisions, including those causing injury or death, is being attributed to the installation of red light cameras at ten London intersections.

In an annual report headed to the civic works committee next week, figures show right-angle crashes at all intersections throughout the city were down by 26 per cent in 2018. Collisions where injury or death was reported saw a 34 per cent reduction last year.

“While additional data is required to confirm the preliminary results, it appears that the city’s various public outreach campaigns and the use of [red-light] cameras may be contributing to improved roadway safety,” the report stated.

Council approved the installation of the cameras at ten intersections in January 2016, the first of which went up in the spring of 2017. The last of the ten cameras were installed in December of last year at Oxford Street East and Adelaide Street North.

To date, the intersection to see the most red-light runners daily was Queens Avenue and Talbot Street, with an average of 3.5 drivers busted a day. The intersection with the highest infractions rate was at Queens Avenue and Adelaide Street, with 1,366 tickets issued since the camera became operational in July 2017.

The owner of a vehicle recorded running a red light is mailed a $325 ticket.

The cameras come with a $3.8 million price tag but are expected to generate $4.5 million in additional revenue over five years. Of that $4.5 million, $1.2 million would go to the company supplying and maintaining the cameras, while $1.1 million would go to the City of Toronto to cover the costs of ticket processing.

The five-year program brought in $923,000 last year in infraction payments, with the city keeping $475,000 after administration and infraction processing costs. However, city staff note in the report that the program is unlikely to continue to generate a surplus revenue in future years.

“It is anticipated that with a continued 3E approach [education, engineering, and enforcement] to road safety, driving attitudes, and awareness will improve and that the program will cease to generate revenues above the cost of delivering the [red-light] program,” the report said.

The number of red-light cameras and their locations will be reviewed at the end of the program’s current contract in 2021.