New Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras in Durham Region

Written on Behalf of Affleck & Barrison LLP

Although back to school in 2020 will look a little different this year, as Labour Day approaches we typically see an uptick in traffic on the road with the resurgence of children walking, riding their bikes, and getting dropped off at school.  In an effort to improve community safety, Durham Region will soon be activating their new Automated Speed Enforcement cameras in school zones and designated safety zones as schools begin to open.

On average, Durham Region receives over 6,700 reported collisions per year.  A Vision Zero Strategic Road Safety Action Plan has been developed to reduce the number and severity of collisions in the Region, with the goal of decreasing the number of fatal and injury collisions by 10% within 5 years.

The Region is investing in public education, new road safety technologies and increased law enforcement in an effort to keep the community safe and reduce the loss of lives on the road in the Region.  The plan focuses on improving road safety in eight categories, which include intersections, aggressive driving, distracted driving, young drivers, pedestrians, impaired driving, cyclists and commercial vehicles.

AUTOMATED SPEED ENFORCEMENT

The Region has installed Automated Speed Enforcement (“ASE”) cameras in designated school zones and community safety zones on regional roads.  The cameras are currently only operating to collect data and no fines have been issued to date.  The Region has advised that fines will be issued beginning in September, although no definitive date has been announced.

It is widely known that speed is a contributing factor in fatal collisions throughout Canada (approximately one third of these collisions).  Therefore, reducing speed is the best way to decrease the occurrence and severity of collisions in the Region.

In an ASE-enforced area, if a vehicle has exceeded the speed limit, the camera will capture an image, which will be stored and later reviewed by a Provincial Offences Act officer.  If reasonable, the officer will send an offence notice (including a fine) with a digital copy of the image to the registered owner of the vehicle within 30 days.  No demerit points will be issued.

The ASE-enforced school zones and community safety zones are as follows:

  • St. Isaac Joques Catholic School
  • Brock High School
  • St. Mary High School
  • Beaverton Downtown (Simcoe Street)
  • Claremont Public School
  • Elizabeth B Phin Public School
  • Ajax High School
  • Sinclair Secondary School
  • Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute
  • Paul Dwyer High School
  • Adelaide McLaughlin Public School
  • St. Stephen’s United Church
  • Ontario Tech University/Durham College
  • SJ Phillips Public School
  • Beau Valley Public School
  • Vincent Massey Public School
  • Eastdale Collegiate Vocational Institute
  • Courtice Downtown (Regional Highway 2)
  • Goodwood Community Centre
  • Hamlet of Sandford (Regional Road 11)
  • Bowmanville High School
  • Sunderland Downtown (Regional Road 10)
  • Cannington Downtown (Cameron Street)

During the 40 days that the ASE cameras have been in operation, one camera located on Simcoe Street in Oshawa was found to have captured more than 100,000 vehicles driving above the posted speed limit.  The data collected shows that approximately one third of those speeding were traveling during peak traffic times.

According to Durham’s Director of Transportation and Field Services, Ramesh Jagannathan:

The data collected so far indicates how this technology will play a significant role in creating safer roads for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.  The goal of Automated Speed Enforcement and Red Light Cameras, two Durham Vision Zero initiatives, is not only to correct aggressive driving behaviours, but it is part of a long-term plan to ensure a safe transportation system that sees no lives lost or serious injuries on Durham roads.

SPEEDING FINES IN ONTARIO

The fines for speeding in Ontario can be found under the Highway Traffic Act.

Drivers caught speeding at a rate of less than 20 kilometres per hour over the speed limit will be fined $3 for each kilometer per hour that was driven over the speed limit.  Drivers caught speeding between 20 and 30 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit will be charged $4.50 for each kilometre per hour over the speed limit.  Those travelling between 30 and 50 kilometres over the speed limit will be fined $7 for each kilometre per hour driven over the speed limit.

Those caught speeding in Community Safety Zones or Construction Zones will be subject to double fines.

HOW SPEEDING CAN CAUSE ACCIDENTS

Speed is almost always a critical factor in fatal crashes.  As the speed of the vehicle increases, so does the risk of fatality.  Drivers tend to lose control when they speed, especially when coming to a complete stop.  Speeding also reduces a driver’s ability to steer around obstructions or curves in the roadway and increases the chances of losing control of the vehicle. 

Fast speeds also decrease a driver’s field of vision and peripheral vision.  A vehicle’s brakes, tires, steering, and suspension become less effective as a result of increased rates of driving.   It is also important to drive at the appropriate speed for the road conditions, such as in bad weather, driving at night or on a road under repair. 

The consequences of speeding are wide-ranging, including:

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;
  • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment (i.e. seatbelts, airbags, and side impact beams);
  • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
  • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;
  • Economic conditions of a speed-related crash; and
  • Increased fuel consumption and cost.

If you have been charged with a driving related offence or have any questions regarding your legal rights, please call the experienced criminal lawyers at Affleck & Barrison LLP at 905-404-1947 or contact us online.  Our skilled criminal defence lawyers have significant experience defending a wide range of criminal charges and protecting our client’s rights.  We offer a free consultation, and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Trust our experienced criminal lawyers to handle your defence with diligence, strategy and expertise.