It looks like some Torontonians aren't too pleased about the driving enforcement being installed around the 6ix. Four Toronto speed cameras have reportedly already been stolen in the past few months, and some others of the 50 that have been placed near schools for road safety have been vandalized. It's only been a mere three months since the City of Toronto announced the installation of these new speed cameras as a tool in the Vision Zero project.
The city announced back in mid-December that Automated Speed Enforcement cameras and signage would be implemented on streets across the 6ix.
The aim of the initiative is to "increase road safety, reduce speeding, and raise public awareness about the need to slow down and obey posted speed limits," per the City's release.
However, according to the Globe and Mail, some residents have already apparently been showing their distaste for these digital road enforcers.
And it seems they've been reacting with vandalism and even theft.
Four of the cameras, which weigh around 365 kg each, have been removed from their installed locations before the planned warning letters have even been sent out to offending motorists.
According to the Toronto Star, the boxes were taken from Jameson Avenue, Brimorton Drive, Crow Trail, and Falmouth Avenue.
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City of Toronto spokesperson Hakeem Muhammad says two of the stolen enforcement tools have already been replaced, and the other two instances will be resolved next week.
It's not just theft, though.
Last month, a camera around Bathurst Street and Steeles Avenue West outside of Fisherville Public School in North York was found covered in spray paint, according to CTV News.
After that incident, the city gave a statement to the Star, explaining: "The units are also weather, ballistic and spray-paint resistant. (With the recent incident, the spray paint was able to be removed easily). Elevating the units or mounting them on poles may introduce other challenges that could delay or affect operation of the program."
Muhammad told Narcity in an emailed statement: "The City of Toronto condemns all acts of theft and vandalism. Tampering with, damaging or stealing an ASE device negatively impacts road safety and allows dangerous speeding to continue near vulnerable road users.*
"The Toronto Police Service have been notified and continue to investigate. Meanwhile, the City is working with the ASE device vendor to explore placement options that would secure the devices in place."
Per the Globe and Mail, the cameras catch speedy drivers and starting this February, they will get cautionary letters in the mail instead of speeding tickets. The letters are expected to go out this week.
The Ministry of Transportation confirmed to Narcity that municipalities are responsible for the implementation and upkeep of the cameras.
A statement provided by Jacob Ginger, Senior Issues Advisor at the MTO, said: "Automated speed enforcement is a municipally driven initiative.
"Municipal governments are in the best position to determine what needs to be done in order to improve road safety on municipal roads. They are responsible for the care and maintenance of the camera technology that they deploy."
He added, "Municipalities, including the City of Toronto, are fully responsible for selecting vendors of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) technology, and determining deployment locations."*
This is in an effort to warn drivers and also raise awareness about the Automated Speed Enforcement before even laying any charges, according to the City.
The initiative will only fine drivers, giving no demerit points. Starting in April, tickets are expected to be sent out following the warning letter phase.
Narcity also reached out to Toronto Police Services for more information.
*This article has been updated.
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