Jun 13, 2022
Smile! Photo radar is catching speeders across Ontario
Speeding has become a big issue in cities and speed cameras can help combat the problem by encouraging drivers to slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
Toronto has 50 speed cameras, about two per ward across the city. According to CTV News, in the first three months, they issued over 80,000 tickets. In 2022, the city relocated the cameras to new locations to ticket drivers.
But how do they work, and will the driver or vehicle owner receive a ticket? Here’s what you need to know about speed cameras and if getting caught will increase your Ontario auto insurance.
How do speed cameras work?
Ontario’s Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) is a system of cameras created to capture vehicles' speed and issue tickets. The cameras work remotely without an operator. There will be posted signs before the cameras to warn drivers. Most of the speed cameras are set up in community safety zones and school zones.
Once the camera detects a vehicle speeding, it will record :
- Vehicle speed
- License plate, make, and model
- Date and time
- Direction being travelled
After the image is taken, the information and photograph are recorded and stored within the unit. OPP officers will then review the information and mail the ticket to the registered address of the vehicle owner.
Ontario photo radar tickets and fines
Here are the fines for photo radar tickets in Ontario :
|1-19 kilometres per hour||$5.00 per kilometer|
|20-29 kilometres per hour||$7.50 per kilometer|
|30-49 kilometres per hour||$12.00 per kilometer|
|50 kilometres per hour or more over||To be settled in court|
The cost of your speeding ticket will be calculated using the exact speed that was captured. For example, if the speed limit was 40 km/h and you were going 60 km/h, it would cost $70.00 (speed multiplied by the fine price per kilometre). A $5.00 VFS (victim fine surcharge) will be added to some fines in Ontario for funding to help victims of crime.
Impact of a speed camera ticket on insurance
Since the camera takes an image of the licence plate, not the driver, the ticket won’t show up on your record, affect demerit points, and it won’t increase your car insurance quotes.
The driver can’t be identified by the camera, the fine can’t be associated to the driver, only the car. Insurers also won’t have access to this information. Regardless of who is driving, the vehicle owner is responsible for paying the fine.
If the owner of the vehicle refuses to pay the fine for a speeding camera ticket, they will be subject to a plate denial. This means the fee will be added to the plate renewal and they will not be allowed to renew their licence plate sticker without paying the fine.
Can you fight speeding camera tickets?
Most legal representatives will suggest there is not much point in fighting a speed camera ticket since it will not affect your abstract, raise your policy costs, or demerit points. In fact, hiring legal assistance may be more than the ticket. If it is an excessive fine, you can consider appearing to court to reduce the fine.
What happens if I get a camera speeding ticket in a rental?
If you receive a camera speeding ticket in a rental car, the company will first receive the ticket. They will then send it to you to cover the fees and costs. It is highly recommended to pay the fine right away, so fees and fines don’t escalate.
Speed camera ticket FAQs
Although the use of photo radar was discontinued in 1994, the Highway Traffic Act granted permission to use automated speed enforcement in community safety and school zones. Therefore, it is permitted by law.
To reduce a photo radar ticket, you will have to follow the steps on the ticket that outline planning a court date and who to contact.
If you are driving over the speed limit and a photo radar tick gets a photo, it will be mailed to you within 5-10 business days.
Driving the speed limit keeps everyone safe
If you are caught by a photo radar camera, you won’t see any drastic changes in your Toronto car insurance, but that does not make it worth it. Always practice defensive driving and keep your car at the speed limit.