London City Council is hitting the gas on red light cameras.
Close to a dozen cameras will be installed at intersections across the city next year, after the five-year program was officially approved during Tuesday’s meeting.
“This is a traffic management program that’s not going to add to our tax levy, but it has the potential, as Councillor Cassidy indicated at committee level, to save lives, to increase safety to pedestrians, to children, to people who are driving,” said Councillor Virginia Ridley.
Owners of vehicles caught running a red will receive a $325 ticket, including a $60 victim surcharge and Councillor Mo Salih hopes it will be an effective deterrent.
“When we talk about red light cameras, there’s always a provincial offences officer who has the final review and get a look at the image and then make the determination if there’s going to be one issued, so I kind of wanted to appease those concerns,” said Salih. “I think this is the right direction, it’s pretty straight forward for me: don’t break the law, and you won’t get a ticket.”
As soon as the vehicle enters the intersection on a red light, the camera would snap a picture, and a violation is issued to the vehicle’s owner.
Ten cameras will rotate between up to 22 of London’s most crash-prone intersections. London joins seven other municipalities in Ontario that use red light cameras.
Red light cameras have been given serious thought by the city as they are included in the London Road Safety Strategy. In the strategy, the report identifies running red lights as the sixth highest cause of injurious or fatal collisions.
Studies highlighted in a previous report showed that right angle collisions, often more severe than other collisions, are reduced by 25 per cent with red light cameras. However, a 15 per cent increase in read-end collisions is expected as driver behaviour is altered by the use of the cameras, typically with more abrupt stops.
Staff expect City Hall to collect roughly $4.5 million in ticket revenue over the course of five years. It would be more than enough to cover the $3.8 million cost of the program, with anything left over being used to fund future road safety initiatives.
The program was approved by a vote of 14 to 1, with van Holst being the only councillor opposed.