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So You’re Considering a Red Light Camera Program ? Lessons and Insights from Over a Decade of Camera Operation in South and Central Ontario


Red light cameras are a form of automated enforcement that has been used world-wide. Six municipalities in the province of Ontario have had a program in place since November of 2000. These municipalities, in co-operation with the Ministries of the Attorney General and Transportation and the office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, have jointly developed and operated a highly successful red light camera program. The Regional Municipality of York joined the program during 2013 increasing the number of red light camera sites in operation to over 190 sites. The main objective of this paper is to provide suggestions to municipalities considering initiating a red light camera program. The suggestions are based on lessons learned in the Province of Ontario during thirteen years of operations. As is common in the world today, technological innovation has created options for red light camera operation and the paper looks at several of the key options and provides suggestions about the relative merits of current and emerging technologies. The paper considers the influence and impacts of governing legislation on technological choice. The organizational structure behind a red light camera program can be the key to public and court credibility and public acceptance. This paper discusses the regulatory and joint municipal structure in place in Ontario and comments on its advantages. The paper also discusses the common elements required to staff a program and initiate the various legal and management processes required to support a program. Site selection for a red light camera program is the primary decision affecting the success for a red light cameras program. This paper provides insights into the choice of sites for a red light camera program and how to develop a business case for a municipality which is contemplating deployment of red light cameras. Along with the internal project development, a jurisdiction will also need to consider parallel safety, signage and specific user outreach programs to maximize the likelihood of success and minimize negative input. The paper provides suggestions on how the revenue obtained by red light camera programs might be streamed toward safety programs in participating municipalities. Overall, the discussions in this paper are aimed at assisting municipalities who might be considering a red light camera process in structuring the discussion and organizing the decision-making and implementation processes.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Road Safety Policy Development - Past, Present, Future (A)
Solomon, H.
Izadpanah, P.
Brady, M.
Hadayeghi, A.
Road safety