Red Light Cameras

Red Light Cameras, Kingston, OntarioBack in 2014, Kingston city council launched a 2-year plan to set up cameras at selected intersections in ygk. The purpose of the cameras is to catch drivers who go through red lights. The cameras capture the license plate of the offending car and send a fine of $325 to the owner. All individual drivers, including Kingston Transit buses, are subject to the fine, however, ambulances, police cruisers, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles are exempt while responding to a call. A City of Kingston staff report from that same year studied 22 intersections and showed an average of 5 red light violations per day, resulting in 60 T-bone accidents per year.

A case study of other municipalities shows that the installation of red light cameras can reduce the number of accidents at intersections by 25%. That being said, cases of rear-ending have gone up in some places due to more people braking on amber lights. All intersections with cameras are required to have countdown pedestrian signals, which help drivers gauge how much time they have, but can also result in early braking or speeding.

In 2015, 10 Kingston intersections were selected for camera installation beginning January 2017: Division & Johnson, Queen & Montreal, Division & John Counter, Perth & Unity, Taylor-Kidd & Bayridge, Bath & Portsmouth, Gardiners & Princess, Princess & Sir John A., Princess & Taylor-Kidd, and Gardiners & Taylor-Kidd.

The estimated cost to run the cameras is $520,000 annually but could result in an annual revenue of about $970,000, generating profits of approximately $450,000. Money that comes in from the program is set to go towards road safety improvements.

This week, city council will vote to pass a motion to go ahead with the installation. Whether you’re a driver, a cyclist, a transit user or a pedestrian, this week we want to know:

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Do you see traffic cameras as an effective way to reduce red light violations and accidents? Will drivers be more cautious when approaching these intersections or will it lead to more speeding? Is the installation of cameras a violation of privacy and a cash grab from the city?  Tell us how you voted and why.

Photo credit to Paul Sableman.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

3 thoughts on “Red Light Cameras

  • As someone who lives just above the Montreal Queen intersection I would whole heartedly agree to a red light camera at the intersection. In crossing the grossly uneven road, either to the South or to the East, I have been almost hit a number of times. This has also happened at Bagot and Queen and most recently at Brock and King. The number of cars racing up the hill from below Montreal to the Sydenham light have enjoyed absolutely no attention from the Kingston Police. Traffic violations in downtown Kingston are just not a concern to anyone except the person crossing the street at risk of drivers who believe they have the right of way.
    Bring on the red light cameras so downtown pedestrians can feel safe when they have the right to step off the sidewalk.
    Barbara Johnson

  • It is a fact that the only thing that will slow vehicles down are traffic calming measures. In my view red light cameras are just that. By saying the money should be put towards more officers is a joke. The cost of a uniformed human is almost to the point of being unaffordable. Spend some time in the states. There are lots of officers. Why? Because they dont make six figures that's why. Take a count of how often you see a traffic cruiser in Kingston. You wont need many fingers.

  • The 79% obviously don’t want to be accountable for their behavior behind the wheel.. we need more red light cameras as I see most are at the usual suspects of intersections.. I’m sure the police know there’s a few more that could be placed on the list hopefully the city will add more in the next review..oh Woodbine Rd at Collins Bay Rd needs lights at that intersection..

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