Red light camera in Burlington expected to increases road safety & catch red light runners. $100,000 to install/maintain, not a cash grab.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  March 19, 2012  The first red light camera in Burlington is up and running to remind drivers to stop at red lights. The camera, at Brant Street and Dundas Street, is the first of 12 red light cameras Halton Region is planning to install over the next two years to help improve road safety.

“Residents have told us that they’re very concerned about the issue of red light running in our communities,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “The fact that there’s at least one collision every week in Halton Region caused by a red light runner is not acceptable to us. We want to save lives and make our roads a safer place to be. Running red lights is not only dangerous, it’s also illegal.”

Halton Regional Police Chief Gary Crowley, Regional Chair Gary Carr and Mayor Rick Goldring stand at the intersection of Brant and Dundas with signs telling the public that red light runners will be photographed and fined. The cameras that catch you are up and behind these three fine civil servants

With almost half of Halton Region drivers surveyed stating they worry about getting into an accident when driving through an intersection and more than 60% reporting seeing a near-miss accident as a result of someone running a red light, Halton Region has installed two red light cameras – one in Burlington and one in Oakville – to help improve road safety. In 2012 and 2013, Halton will install another 10 red light cameras at strategic intersections throughout the Region.

Cameras are currently located at Dundas Street (Regional Road 5) and Brant Street (Regional Road 18) in the City of Burlington and at Trafalgar Road (Regional Road 3) and Upper Middle Road (Regional Road 38) in the Town of Oakville.

Throughout southern Ontario, red light cameras have reduced personal-injury type accidents, helping to improve the safety of intersections and enhancing quality of life. Cameras take photos of red light runners 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but only operate when a vehicle enters the intersection after the light has turned red.

The fine for running a red light is $325. Demerit points are not issued with violations detected by red light cameras.

When you run a red light a picture of your vehicle is taken and downloaded to a processing at Metro Toronto Police who do the processing for all municipalities in Ontario.  Trained officers review every picture and if it is evident that the Highway Traffic Act was breached they mail you a ticket.  Hard to beat when there is a clear photograph of the car going through the red light – so you might want to take your cheque book with you should you decide to fight the ticket.

Halton Regional Police chief Gary Crowel is gearing down and getting ready to move into retirement where he hopes he can get out and do a bit more running. As a chief of police he gets to shuffle a lot of paper and pose for pictures - the actual policing days have slowed down a bit - but they haven't stopped.

The only upside to all this is that you don’t lose demerit points for an offence that was captured by a camera..  If a police office were to issue you a ticket for running a red light you would lose three demerit points.

Of the $325 fine – $265 goes to the city of Burlington and $60 is paid into the Victim Fine Surcharge.  The cameras are on 24/7 and they work in the dark.  The cameras are standard 35mm units and cost about $100,000 annually to install and maintain – so this isn’t a cash grab on the part of the city.  This is part of a program that will hopefully convince drivers to stop for red lights or pay the price if they don’t.

For those who decide to run a red light – you’re lucky if all you get is a fine.  The cost of an accident is much higher.

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