Let’s face it, many of us have gone a bit over the speed limit once or twice in our lives. It’s easy to think you can easily get away with it as long as no police offers are around! However, we at isure are here to tell you this is never the case. As most Ontario drivers know, getting pulled over and receiving a ticket from a police officer can take a bite out of your wallet. Not to mention, they can also earn you demerit points on your record. In turn, demerit points translate to your insurance premiums going up. But what about speed cameras and red light cameras? Although getting a speed camera ticket is far from ideal, it’s different than getting a regular speeding ticket. In this article, we explore the impact photo radar tickets have on your car insurance rates.
What are speed cameras?
Speed cameras – otherwise known as an Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) camera – catch you in the act of speeding. These cameras are strategically placed around schools and Community Safety Zones to monitor high foot traffic in low-speed limit areas constantly. If you pass the speed limit in these areas, it is able to take a photo of your car in the act.
The speed camera photo captures:
- The date and time of the incident
- Your car’s make and model
- The car’s licence plate number
- The speed the driver is going
From there, the image and ticket are reviewed by a provincial offences officer and a copy of the image and ticket is sent to the registered owner of the car via mail. Making sure your address is fully up to date on your licence and car registration is very important here. This is because if you fail to pay a ticket, you will end up getting in even deeper water for failing to pay said ticket. On top of this, it will make renewing your licence next to impossible!
What will a ticket from a speed camera cost you?
According to an article from CTV News, Toronto’s 50 speed enforcement cameras issued over 80,000 speeding tickets in just the first three months of 2021. According to the ASE website, speed camera fines are broken down like this:
- The actual ticket fine – This relies on the number of kilometres you were driving beyond the speed limit.
- The victim surcharge fee – This amount will vary, depending on the amount of your actual ticket fine.
- There is also a court fee that applies to all tickets and is set by provincial regulation.
Therefore, the actual ticket fine + victim surcharge fee + court fees = the fine that you’ll be required to pay
Will a speed camera ticket affect my insurance?
No. The reason ASE cameras don’t affect insurance is because the photo radar camera cannot see who was driving the car, and thus cannot prove who was driving the car. Therefore, you do not receive any demerit points for these tickets. The ticket gets issued to the car’s registered owner based on the license plate in the photo. It doesn’t matter who was driving the car. As the owner, you need to pay for the ticket. Since the ticket is not issued to a specific driver, the offence can’t be reflected on your record which means it can’t impact your insurance premiums. It is important to note that there is not a maximum number of tickets that you can get from said cameras. As mentioned above, failing to pay these tickets can result in heftier fines and difficulties when it comes to renewing your licence and sticker.
All in all, the best way to avoid any increase in your insurance premium due to speeding is to abide by the posted speed limit! Not only does it save you money, but it keeps you, your passengers and other drivers safe and sound.
How are these tickets different from speeding tickets?
There are actually a few differences between the two, which we’ve broken down for you below:
Speed camera tickets
- A ticket is issued to the registered owner of the vehicle in the captured photo
- The camera determines the speed the vehicle is travelling
- The ticket is not recorded on your driving record
- The ticket includes an initial fine and victim surcharge fee, plus court fees with no demerit points
- Issued then and there by a police officer when they pull you over for surpassing the speed limit
- A ticket is issued to the person driving the vehicle
- A speed gun is used to determine the speed at which the vehicle is travelling
- They will be listed on your driving record for three years from the conviction date
- Ticket will increase insurance premiums and depending on how many offences you’re convicted of, you risk your insurance policy cancelling
- Ticket typically includes an initial fine, victim surcharge fee, court fees and demerit points
To learn more about speeding ticket fines in Ontario, click here.
I’ve received a photo radar ticket in the mail. What do I do?
Once you have received the image and ticket in the mail, you have 15 days to either:
- Pay the fine amount
- Request a trial to plead not guilty
- Request a trial to plead guilty and ask for an extension to pay
If you choose not to pay the fine, it could mean refusal of your yearly license renewal, meaning you won’t be able to legally drive in Ontario. The best way to avoid a ticket, other than changing your route, is to simply slow down when you are in a Community Safety Zone. Also, take care when deciding who can borrow your car. The last thing you’d want is a family member or friend to get you a ticket!
Although speed camera tickets will result in money out of your pocket, the upside is that it doesn’t affect your insurance premiums. To avoid the hassle, stay safe and drive the speed limit. Speaking of auto insurance, being happy with your supplier is crucial! Are you in the market for new car insurance? Check out isure! We have some of the best prices in the province as well as customer service you can always depend on. Contact us or request a quote today!