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Toronto to Create $500 Red Light Camera Fine
Toronto to boost annual red light camera revenue to $32.7 million by raising red light camera fines to $500.

Toronto City Hall
A Toronto, Canada city committee yesterday approved a proposal that would create North America's most expensive red light camera ticket. The city's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee voted to boost the existing $180 fine to $500 CAD (US $492), far above California's record $420 fine limit. Councillor Michael Thompson first proposed the fine hike last year saying it was necessary to increase safety.

But the city also approved plans to expand the number of cameras operating from 20 to 98 by 2009, generating 65,300 in annual fines. If fines were kept at $180 per ticket, the city would generate $11.8 million in annual revenue but end up with a net loss after paying private companies to operate the safety program, according to Gary Welsh, Toronto's General Manager of Transportation Services. By 2012, Welsh estimated the loss at $2,497,900 per year in a memo to the committee.

The plan to expand the number of monitored intersections within a short period is the primary cause of the potential revenue loss. Toronto had already paid for the cameras used by ACS to ticket motorists since 2000. For that reason, the city will only pay the Dallas company $3,774,400 to issue tickets on Toronto's behalf until 2012. German company Traffipax, however, must charge $15,137,900 to supply and operate new cameras through 2012.

By raising fines to $500, the city is expected to bring in $32.7 million in annual revenue and a total of $100 million worth of tickets by 2012, guaranteeing a significant net profit. The city also is looking at the possibility of suspending vehicle registrations for vehicles accused of "multiple" red light camera violations and publishing the license plate numbers of anyone accused by a camera. If approved by the full city council, the Ontario Minister of Transportation would review and implement the new penalties.

Illinois currently has the most expensive photo enforcement ticket with a $1000 fine and mandatory license suspension imposed for a second speeding accusation. Last year, the state issued 6500 automated speeding tickets on the freeway to generate a minimum of $2.4 million in revenue.

A full copy of the Toronto City Council memo is available in a 70k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Increased Penalties for Red-Light Running Offences (City of Toronto, Canada, 4/10/2008)

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