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Toronto has approved more automated traffic cameras. Soon, drivers could lose the ability to fight the tickets in court

With more automated traffic cameras being installed across Toronto, a city committee is set to consider a move that would strip drivers of the ability to fight tickets issued by the cameras in provincial court.

The report, written by staff and to be considered by the infrastructure and environment committee next week, recommends an extension to the “administrative penalty system” to include tickets issued by automated traffic cameras.

If adopted, anyone ticketed by a red light camera or automated speed enforcement camera after Nov. 24, 2024 will no longer be able to fight their ticket in a provincial court. Instead, they will be directed to an administrative penalty system, headed by municipal hearing officers rather than judges.

In Toronto, parking tickets have been processed through the administrative system since 2016.

Currently, there are 300 red light and 75 speed enforcement cameras within city-limits. In the spring, council authorized an increase in the number of speed cameras to 150.

The move towards an expanded administrative penalty system has long been in the works, both in Toronto and other municipalities across Ontario. The shift is meant to alleviate ongoing provincial court backlogs, the province and municipalities have said.

“Dispute resolution of these matters through an Administrative Penalty System frees up capacity within the Provincial Offences court system for the hearing of a high volume of other offences,” staff wrote in the report headed to council.

Toronto’s automated traffic cameras are part of the city’s ‘Vision Zero’ road safety plan, meant to reduce deaths and injuries on the streets.

According to the report, the city spends just over $16 million a year on red light and speed enforcement programs. In 2026, that figure is expected to jump to nearly $50 million as the new system is rolled out and more cameras are installed.

Staff said the two programs generated nearly $70 million in revenue in 2023. 

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