More red light cameras, photo radar coming

York Region drivers can expect to see more photo radar and red light cameras over the next few years.

Regional Council voted to expand York’s Automated Speed Enforcement program by adding two additional mobile cameras by 2024, and 60 fixed automated speed enforcement cameras and 15 more red light cameras at select intersections by 2026.

The Region launched a two-year, limited use automated speed enforcement pilot on select regional roads in November 2020. The pilot has one mobile automated speed enforcement camera that rotates among 12 community safety zones to cover 19 schools. Early pilot results show speed compliance has increased by more than 35 per cent in school areas when automated speed enforcement cameras are in use.

Red light cameras are currently installed at 40 signalized intersections across the region and are credited with helping to change driver behaviour, resulting in significant reductions in collisions at intersections across the entire regional road network – not just at intersections equipped with cameras.

“Right-angle collisions account for eight per cent of all collisions on regional roads and running a red light is the leading cause of right-angle collisions,” says Nelson Costa, York’s manager of corridor control and safety. “While rear-end collisions are the most common type of collisions on regional roads, right-angle collisions are considered the most severe because they are most likely to result in serious injury.”

Since the introduction of red light cameras in 2013, there has been a reduction of 74 per cent of right-angle collisions at intersections equipped with cameras, Costa reports.

“The goal of the red light camera program is to reduce the number of serious collisions on regional roads by discouraging unsafe driving behaviour at intersections,” says York Regional Police Staff Sgt. Sarah Riddell of the Road Safety Bureau. “In 2017, over 10,000 tickets were issued through the red light camera program.”

In Markham, red light cameras are located at numerous intersections, including Bloomington Road and Woodbine Avenue, Bloomington Road and Kennedy Road, Bloomington Road and Ninth Line, Warden Avenue and Carlton Road, Warden Avenue and 14th Avenue, 14th Avenue and Birchmount Road, and Woodbine Avenue and Steelcase Road.

The Region estimates it will cost about $2 million to operate three automated speed enforcement mobile cameras and 40 red light cameras in 2023. The cost will increase by about $5 million each year with a total of 60 additional fixed cameras and 15 additional red light cameras between 2024 and 2026.

Photo is a screenshot from a York Region website. 

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