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Red light cameras are meant to be a deterrent for drivers that habitually enter intersections when it is a stale yellow or red light, potentially causing accidents. Their installation in the busiest and most dangerous intersections are to help reduce car accident rates. As a result, Toronto City Council recently gave the green-light to the installation of more red light cameras throughout Ontario. We’ve got the answers to your questions about red light camera tickets.

What is ‘running the red’?

Also known as ‘red light running’, it is a violation that occurs when you enter an intersection after the signal light turns red.

What if I am making a left turn and the light turns red when my vehicle is still in the intersection?

If you are already at an intersection when the signal changes to red (when waiting to turn, for example) you are not seen as a red light runner.

Is it okay to cross on a yellow light?

You can safely pass through the intersection if the yellow light is displaying after you already enter the intersection.

What triggers a red light camera in Ontario?

There are sensors embedded underneath each lane of traffic. These trigger when someone travels over the stop line when the light turns red. As a result, the camera will then take a picture of the car’s rear licence plate. The red light cameras are only triggered if you enter the intersection AFTER the light turns red.

Do the cameras photograph every vehicle passing through an intersection?

The cameras are set to photograph vehicles that enter an intersection after the light turns red. If your vehicle enters when the light is yellow and is within the intersection when the light changes to red, you will not be photographed; only cars that pass the stop line after the light turns red will be.

Who reviews the photographs before motorists receive tickets?

Officers review every picture to verify information and ensure that the vehicle is in violation. Red light camera tickets are mailed to the vehicle owners only in cases where it is clear that the vehicle ran the red light.

What happens when you get red light camera tickets?

As the vehicle owner, you will have to pay the fine. As the cameras can not capture who was driving the car and identify them, the fine goes to the licence plate owner. You will receive a notification via mail about the ticket. Failure to pay the ticket can result in your inability to renew your driver’s licence or your vehicle registration.

How much will my insurance go up after a RLC ticket?

It doesn’t. Red light camera tickets have no impact on your car insurance in Canada.

How long does it take for red light camera tickets to arrive?

It can take as little as two weeks, or up to eight weeks, for you to receive your red light camera ticket in the mail. Typically, most offenders receive their ticket within four weeks.

Can you fight red light camera tickets?

Yes. Most people dispute the ticket in order to reduce the fine amount. However, overturning these tickets rarely only happen during extenuating circumstances.

Can a RLC ticket be reduced?

Yes. It is possible to get a fine reduction to less than $325. However, you will need to enter a plea of guilt with explanation. You will be asking the court to consider your circumstances surrounding the violation. So, if you persuade the court, you may be able to reduce your fine.

Are red light camera tickets legal?

Yes. All red light cameras in Ontario are legal.

Does a red light camera ticket go on your record in Ontario?

No, the infraction does not go on your driving record and there are no demerit points.

What is the penalty for running a red light based on evidence from a camera system?

As of January 1, 2010, the set fine for running a red light detected by a camera system is set at:

  • $260 fine + a $60 victim surcharge + a $5 court cost = the total payable ticket amount is $325.

Do red light cameras violate privacy?

According to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, every attempt is made to minimize capturing members of the public in the photos. In the event that people are inadvertently captured on film, it will not be possible to identity them from the photos on the tickets.

Do red light cameras replace police officers at intersections?

No. Red light cameras do not replace police officers. The red light cameras are a tool to help police discourage motorists from running red lights. To that point, police enforcement is a substantial component of the program.

What is the cost of a red light camera?

A red light camera system costs approximately $100,000.

What other provinces use red light cameras?

Photographic detection devices are used in other provinces, besides Ontario. Currently, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec use them. Additionally, RLCs are evident in many other countries as well, including:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • The Netherlands
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your auto insurance policy, please contact isure today!

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