Jan 16, 2017
By Jane Brown
As the City of Toronto prepares to double the number of red light cameras to improve pedestrian safety, new numbers show last year’s red light charges would be the highest since the program began.
City transportation data obtained by the Toronto Star indicates the program was on track for 36,230 red light charges in 2016, which would be a 23.7 percent increase over 2015 and 3.6 percent more than the previous high of 34,969 charges in 2012.
Toronto Mayor John Tory announced last week that 76 new red light cameras will be installed as part of his Vision Zero campaign to reduce pedestrian deaths to zero. The mayor told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer red light cameras work to reduce traffic fatalities.
“That’s where we’ve cut down on the deaths by 60 percent is capturing people who are going through red lights or speeding through on the yellow and are actually going through a red light, and so, there was no such commitment with respect to red light cameras to confine them to anywhere except to places where they’re going to save lives and frankly stop us from using a highly paid police officer to sit there and watch people go through the red light,” said Mayor Tory.
Although the cameras generate a profit, Mayor Tory stresses the program is about preventing collisions not padding municipal coffers. Forty-three pedestrians were killed in Toronto last year, thirty-seven of them were 55 and older.