This article was originally published in January 2019.
It's clear that 2019 is the year Ontario is cracking down on road safety practices and legislation surrounding dangerous and distracted driving. Drivers got a preview of the harsher legislation back in 2018 before it was enabled on January 1st. That legislation leading to higher penalties for distracted driving which joined the earlier introduced law, that police could now demand breathalyzer tests, in making Ontario the harshest province when it came to penalties for driving offences in Canada. While all of these new harsh laws have only been around for a few weeks, it seems the province isn't finished just yet. Specifically, Toronto is adding even more surveillance to the roads throughout the city in an effort to curb driving practices that could result in accidents.
This tech surveillance expansion has to do with photo radar cameras which most drivers aren't strangers to, considering they can be found sporadically throughout the city and the GTA. Throughout this year though, if you are a Toronto driver, you'll notice photo radar cameras a lot more frequently considering the city is planning to install cameras in more than 700 locations as part of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE). The expansion is in correlation with last year's creation of 754 Community Safety Zones around schools.
The cameras are reportedly going to be installed predominantly in Community Safety Zones, meaning around schools other neighbourhoods that have reduced speed limits. What this means is that if a camera does catch you speeding, not only are you getting a ticket, but the fine is automatically doubled due to speeding in a safety zone. From there, the ticket will be mailed to the owner of the vehicle who will have to pay up, whether they were the actual driver who committed the offence or not.
Police Are Cracking Down Hard On Canadian Drivers
While you can still get fines, the two things that can't happen if you are caught by a camera are losing demerit points or having your license suspended. Considering that in order for either to happen, a police officer would need to be present.
Regardless, it's clear that drivers are going to want to be extra cautious on the roads considering between heightened police presence, harsher penalties, and now new cameras, it's going to be practically impossible to escape a fine.
Source: Toronto Sun