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Red Light Camera FAQs

Traffic Light

What is red light running?

A red light running violation is when a driver enters an intersection after the light has turned red.

Are red light camera intersections identified?

Yes, all locations with red light cameras have advisory signage.

Do the cameras photograph every vehicle going through the intersection?

The cameras photograph only those vehicles entering an intersection after the light has turned red. Drivers who enter during a yellow light and are in the intersection when the light changes won’t be photographed.

Do red light cameras replace police officers at intersections?

No. The red light cameras are used to enhance police efforts in preventing motorists from disobeying a red light. Increasing police enforcement is a substantial component of the project.

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How are violations processed?

All evidence gathered from red light cameras is processed as follows:

  • Digital photos are downloaded from red light camera locations and are physically transported in a secure manner to the Joint Municipal Processing centre in Toronto where they are processed
  • All images are reviewed by a Provincial Offences Officer who verifies that a red light running offence has occurred
  • The license plate number must be clearly identifiable and validated from the digital image
  • An Offence Notice Form is completed and mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.

The municipal court system is responsible for trials and appeals.

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Does someone review the photographs before issuing a ticket?

Yes, trained officers review every picture to verify vehicle information and ensure that it went through the red light. Tickets are mailed to the registered vehicle owners only when it is clear that the vehicle ran a red light.

Who receives a red light camera ticket?

No matter who was driving the vehicle at the time, the registered license plate holder receives the ticket.

Can an undelivered or misplaced ticket (offence notice) be replaced?

The registered vehicle owner must attend a Provincial Offences Act (POA) court location to replace an undelivered or misplaced ticket.

What is the penalty for running a red light based on evidence obtained by a camera system?

The fine for running a red light detected by a camera system is $325. Demerit points are not issued with violations detected by the red light cameras. If the fine goes unpaid, the license plate cannot be renewed.

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What is the penalty for running a red light if caught by a police officer?

The set fine for running a red light when caught by a police office is $325. Failing to stop for a red light where a police officer issues a ticket results in three demerit points.

Where do the fines go?

$265 goes to Municipal Court Services and the $60 Victim Fine Surcharge goes to the Province of Ontario.

Does receiving a red light camera ticket have an impact on a driver’s insurance premiums?

The driver’s automobile insurance company will be able to provide the answer to the impact of a red light camera on insurance premiums.

Do red light cameras violate privacy?

The Region is subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act which permits the collection of personal information as long as the collection is legally authorized and limited to only what is needed.

In accordance with this, motorists themselves will not be observed or recorded through red light cameras. Red light cameras will only photograph a vehicle's rear licence plate. In the event that individuals are inadvertently captured on film, it won't be possible to identify them from the photos included on the tickets.

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Who has access to the violation photos?

Photos gathered for evidence are used only to verify that an offence has occurred and to record license plate numbers. Provincial Offence Officers at the Joint Municipal Processing Centre retain the photos. If a defendant requests a trial, the centre must help the Crown Prosecutor by providing the original violation photos and certified plate registration information. These photos, when entered into evidence, become public record.

Can vehicle owners obstruct their license plates?

No. It is against the law to obstruct a vehicle’s license plate.

What about cyclists who run red lights?

The red light cameras can’t detect and photograph cyclists who are red light runners. Although cyclists are subject to the same traffic signal regulations as all motorists, there is no current registration system that could verify a cyclist’s identity in a photograph.

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Do the cameras work at night?

Yes. The cameras can record violations in the dark. 

Who supplies the cameras? How big are they? Where are they in the intersection?

Halton gets their red light cameras from Traffipax, a subsidiary of Jenoptik – Traffic Solutions. The camera is an industrial 35-mm camera, made for unattended operation outside. The cameras are in a box and mounted on a pole approximately 20 metres before the intersection. They are approximately 3.5 metres above the ground.

What other countries use red light cameras?

Many other countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States use red light cameras. Cameras are also used in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec. In Ontario, the Red Light Camera program includes Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Peel, Waterloo, York and Halton.

How can I receive a second copy of my red light camera ticket?

To receive a second copy of a red light camera ticket, please contact the appropriate municipal court system.

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