An evaluation of three years’ worth of data from Toronto’s automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras shows a reduction of speeding, the City of Toronto says.
The City said the data collected from ASE cameras from January 2020 to December 2022 at 204 locations “highlight how speed cameras have been effective in significantly reducing the number of people speeding and overall vehicle speeds, pointing to increased compliance and improved driver behaviour.”
During that time, the City installed 50 cameras — two per ward — that would rotate to different streets every few months. An additional 25 cameras were then added to the rooster at the end of last year.
If a vehicle was caught speeding by an ASE camera, an image of the vehicle was captured and stored in the system and then reviewed by provincial officers. If an offence was detected, the City said the only penalty was a fine mailed to the registered owner’s address and their driving record would not be impacted. No demerit points would be taken off either.
The evaluation report was conducted by researchers from SickKids Hospital and Toronto Metropolitan University. It showed that the proportion of people speeding in 30, 40 and 50 km/h speed limit zones dropped from approximately 60 to 43 per cent, 51 to 30 per cent and 58 to 36 per cent, respectively, when the devices were in use.
The City said that represented an overall 45 per cent reduction in the proportion of people speeding in areas with an ASE device.
Vehicle operating speeds in 30, 40 and 50 km/h speed limit zones dropped from about 44 to 37 km/h, 50 to 44 km/h and 63 to 60 km/h, respectively, when the cameras were active, the City said.
This represented an overall decrease of approximately seven km/h in vehicle operating speeds in areas with an ASE camera, the City said.
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The study also found the percentage of drivers exceeding the speed limit decreased at 80 per cent of locations with an ASE camera, the City said. Those going at excessive speeds, which they said is driving over the speed limit by 20 km/h or more, was also reduced by 87 per cent after the placement of an ASE device.
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Despite some of that time period being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City said there was still substantial data collected when there weren’t stay-at-home orders or school closures.
“The results of this study highlight the remarkable impact of Automated Speed Enforcement,” Toronto’s deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie said. “It’s gratifying to see that 80 per cent of the locations with an Automated Speed Enforcement device witnessed a decline in the percentage of drivers exceeding the speed limit.”
“This is a testament to the program’s effectiveness in slowing down drivers and creating a safer environment for our school communities,” McKelvie said.
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