In an attempt to keep our roads safe, the province of Ontario has introduced legislation that allows municipalities to install red-light cameras that photograph vehicles that don’t stop at a red light. These photographs can be used to ticket you for reckless driving.
Red light cameras were introduced to discourage drivers from running red lights and possibly causing accidents. They are usually installed in the highest traffic & most dangerous intersections to reduce car accident rates.
Thankfully, red light camera tickets do not affect your car insurance rates but many municipalities in Ontario have installed them, including:
As you can see, the majority of red-light cameras are found in the Greater Toronto Area. Continue reading to understand how the program works and how to avoid getting a ticket.
How do red light cameras work?
What is a red light camera ticket?
Red light cameras are installed at high traffic intersections to deter drivers from running the light. If a vehicle enters the intersection after the light has turned red (crossing the stop line) the camera will snap a photo of the vehicle and its license plate. A police offer will then review the photos to verify that the vehicle actually ran a red light. A ticket will be mailed and issued by the Ministry of Transportation to the registered owner of the vehicle.
If a vehicle enters the intersection when the light is yellow, or if the vehicle was already in the intersection when the light turned red – no ticket will be issued.
It’s important to understand the program was designed to act as a deterrent and change driver behavior, so you’ll notice every intersection has signs advising drivers that a camera is present.
Fines associated with red light camera tickets
How much is a red light camera ticket in Ontario?
Like most driving infractions in Ontario, running a red light will cost you. If you’re caught running a red light you will have to pay a $325 fine. Running a red light will cost the same across the province of Ontario. A red light ticket in Ottawa will have the same fine as Toronto, Brampton, or any other city that uses red light cameras in intersections.
Red light camera tickets in Ontario & demerit points
Unlike most traffic tickets in Ontario, a red light camera ticket is an owner-liability charge, meaning that the plate holder – not the driver – receives the ticket. The reason for this is because drivers cannot be identified by the red light camera photos.
Thankfully, no demerit points are issued when the owner of the vehicle is caught running a red light, however, they will still be subject to a \$325 fine.
Ontario red light camera ticket: Payment options
How do I pay for a red light camera ticket?
When you receive your red light ticket in the mail, there will be instructions on the package showing you how to pay for the ticket. In most cases, you’ll be able to pay the traffic ticket online, however, you’ll also have the option to pay the ticket in person or by mail.
Fighting A Red Light Camera Ticket in Ontario
Is contesting a red light camera ticket worth it?
If you’re caught running a red light it’s almost natural to wonder if you can fight the ticket. Like any other ticket in Ontario, you have the right to fight a red light ticket. Considering the potential danger of the infraction, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to fight your traffic ticket. In a best-case scenario, you may be able to reduce the fine but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
In short, you can fight a red light camera ticket but considering the time and effort vs. the amount of money you’ll save, it may not be worth it.
Does a red light ticket impact insurance?
If you run a red light and are worried about it affecting your insurance rates – don’t! Fortunately, there is no impact on your car insurance rates if you get a red light ticket. The infraction does not go on your driving record and there are no demerit points.
How do you check the status of a red light ticket?
Checking the status of your ticket online is easy and fast to do. To view the status of your red light ticket online you can use the Provincial Offenses Act online services portal to look up your ticket.
You can check the status of your red light ticket online through the Ontario.ca website.
What is the penalty for not paying a red light camera ticket?
The owner of the vehicle responsible for the issued red light ticket is the one that needs to pay for the ticket. If you refuse to pay the fine it could result in the refusal of your license plate renewal permit even though it doesn’t appear on your driving record. In order to renew your driver’s license, you will need to pay the red light ticket.
What happens if you lose your red light ticket?
If you lose your traffic ticket, don’t worry – you can visit your local courthouse. They can look up any outstanding tickets on your record using your license. You’ll also be able to pay the fine at this time.
How to prevent red light camera tickets
Nobody wants to end up with an unnecessary ticket, especially an expense red light ticket. Even though it doesn’t end up or your driving record or give you demerit points, you should still understand how to prevent a ticket from red light cameras:
Red light camera tickets: FAQs
How do you know if a red light camera took your picture?
If a red light camera took your picture, you’ll know in about a month if you receive a ticket in the mail. Also if you pass through an intersection and see a flash, chances are you got caught running a red light.
How much will my insurance go up after a red light camera ticket?
Your insurance will not go up. Tickets from red-light cameras have no effect on your driving record or your car insurance rates.
What happens if you get a red light camera ticket?
In Ontario, the vehicle owner, not the driver of the vehicle is responsible for the fine. The driver will be notified by mail about the ticket. If the owner fails to pay the tickets it could result in them not being able to renew their driver’s license or vehicle registration.
Can you fight a red light camera ticket in Ontario?
Yes, in Ontario you have the right to fight a red light camera ticket. Since the offence does not affect your insurance or driving record, most drivers dispute the ticket to get a reduced fine.