October 25, 2004

York Regional Council supports use of red light cameras

NEWMARKET The Regional Municipality of York gave its support to the use of red light cameras to improve the safety of Regional road intersections.
"People are needlessly hurt and sometimes killed from the reckless behaviour of those who run red lights at signalized intersections," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "I'm confident that the adoption of this technology will reduce serious injuries and deaths at Regional intersections."
Staff will determine which of York Region's intersections would be best served by the introduction of the technology.  The Region has proposed the use of four cameras to be rotated through 12-16 priority intersections, with purchase of the cameras contingent upon approval of the 2005 Budget.
The cameras cost approximately $250,000 each, with total estimated operating costs for four cameras of $380,000 per year. The cost of the cameras will likely not be fully cost-recoverable, as the introduction of the cameras tends to dissuade red light running, significantly lowering the amount of fines collected.
"These cameras are to improve safety on our Regional roads, not to make a profit," said Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Chair of the Region's Transportation and Works Committee.  "Our intention is to reduce as many accidents as possible at intersections.  If these cameras can accomplish that task, it's an investment worth making."
In 1998, the Province authorized the use of red light cameras as part of a pilot project in six Ontario municipalities.  The pilot determined that red light cameras reduced both head-on and T-bone collisions that often result in traffic fatalities at intersections.
The cameras take photographs of the rear license plate of vehicles that proceed through intersections when the traffic signal is red.  Tickets are issued by mail to the vehicle's registered owner, with the photograph included.
Before implementation of the cameras, the Region must develop a set of criteria to determine which intersections will benefit most and establish a means of processing the infractions.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.york.ca
Media Contact:   Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1232
- Email: michael.kemp@york.ca

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