2,029 fines issued during first year of Kingston’s red light camera program

The City of Kingston, using red light cameras like those pictured above, saw over 2,000 charges laid against motorists for red light violations from March to December 2022, according to the City. File photo.

One year after the City of Kingston officially launched its red light camera program in March of 2022 — which automatically charges drivers who are caught running red lights at designated intersections — Kingstonians are finally getting a glimpse into how many charges the cameras have generated. According to information shared with Kingstonist from the City’s communications department, a total of 2,029 charges were issued between March 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022.

Of the seven red light cameras currently installed at Kingston intersections, the one at Division Street and Concession Street had the highest number of offences throughout the year, with a total of 463 charges issued from March to the end of December. Coming in a close second was the camera at Princess Street and Bayridge Drive, which issued 439 charges. The intersection with the least number of charges in 2022 was Johnson Street and Barrie Street, with 106 total.

In terms of a monthly breakdown of offences, the program’s busiest month in 2022 was September, when 263 charges were issued across the seven intersections. The quietest months were April and December, with 161 and 162 fines issued respectively.

There is a set charge of $325 when a vehicle enters an intersection after the light turns red; the City of Kingston receives $260, with a $60 “victim surcharge” being directed to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). Meanwhile, a $5 court fee applies to each fine, with that money sent to the local provincial court. Because the cameras issue fines automatically, and the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence may not be its registered owner, no demerit points are issued on top of the tickets.

It is not yet clear exactly how much money the City of Kingston will receive as a result of the 2,029 charges issued throughout the first 10 months of the program, as a number of charges are still before the courts. According to a representative from the City, 1,921 charges were filed with the local courts between March 1 and December 31, 2022, of which “no tickets have been overturned on appeal.”

A further 108 charges were filed in January of 2023, due to the fact the offences occurred in late December. As of this writing, 285 cases have been appealed through the local court system; “155 have [pleaded] guilty,” while “130 filed requesting a trial,” noted the City representative. “Three or four of these charges have proceeded through court and [were] resolved with a reduced penalty, [while] the balance are currently awaiting a trial.”

Red light cameras are a tool used by many municipalities across Ontario in an effort to reduce serious collisions at busy intersections. The cameras work by taking two pictures of a motor vehicle, one when a driver approaches a red light and the other when their vehicle enters the intersection. The photos are then reviewed by provincial offences officers to confirm whether a traffic violation has occurred; if one has, a notice of the fine is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.

More information on the red light camera program, including a list of frequently asked questions, can be found on the City of Kingston website.

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