Red Light Cameras

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Red Light Cameras


Q What is red light running?
A A violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the signal light has turned red.


Q What if I am making a left turn and the light turns red when my vehicle is still in the intersection?
A Motorists already in an intersection when the signal changes to red (when waiting to turn, for example) are not red light runners.


Q Do red light cameras replace police officers at intersections?
A No. Red light cameras do not replace police officers. The red light cameras are being used to complement police efforts in preventing motorists from running a red light. Stepped-up police enforcement is a substantial component of the project.


Q Do the cameras photograph every vehicle passing through an intersection?
A The cameras are set so that only those vehicles that enter an intersection after the light has turned red are photographed. Vehicles that enter on yellow and are within the intersection when the light changes to red are not photographed. The program is intended to photograph vehicles that enter an intersection after the signal has turned red.


Q Does someone review the photographs before motorists are ticketed?
A Yes, trained officers review every picture to verify vehicle information and ensure that the vehicle is in violation. Tickets are mailed to vehicle owners only in cases where it is clear that the vehicle ran the red light.


Q Who receives a ticket for running a red light detected by a camera system?
A The registered license plate holder receives the ticket, regardless of who was driving the vehicle.


Q What is the penalty for running a red light based on evidence obtained by a camera system?
A As of January 1, 2010 the set fine for running a red light detected by a camera system was increased to $260, plus a $60 victim surcharge and a $5 court cost. The total payable is now $325. Prior to this increase, the set fine was $155, plus a $35 victim surcharge, for a total payable of $180. Demerit points are not issued with violations detected by the red light camera system.


Q What is the penalty for running a red light if caught by a police officer?
A The set fine for running a red light when caught by a police officer is $325.00. Failing to stop for a red light where a police officer issues a ticket results in three demerit points.


Q Where do the fines go?
A $260.00 goes to the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario collects $60.00 as a Victim Fine Surcharge and $5.00 in court costs.


Q Do red light cameras violate privacy?
A In consultation with the Privacy Commissioner, every attempt has been made to minimize capturing members of the public in the photos. In the event that members of the public are inadvertently captured on film, it will not be possible to identify them from the photos included on the tickets.


Q What is the cost of a red light camera?
A A red light camera system costs approximately $100,000.


Q Who supplies the cameras? How big are the cameras? What is their location relative to the intersection?
A The system supplier is Traffipax. The camera is an industrial 35-mm camera, manufactured particularly for unattended operation in an outdoor environment. The cameras are housed in a ½ metre x ½ metre x ½ metre enclosure and are mounted on a pole, 20 metres in advance of the intersection. They are mounted approximately 3.6 metres above the ground.


Q What other countries use red light cameras?
A Photographic detection devices are used extensively in many other countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Cameras are also used in British Columbia and Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.