More than 22,000 speeding tickets were issued by Toronto’s speed enforcement cameras in a single month, with one driver receiving a fine for $718 for driving 89 kilometres per hour in a 40-kilometre hour zone.
Although no demerit points are issued if you receive a ticket in the mail for speeding past one of the cameras, accumulating speeding fines can affect what your car insurance premium is.
As part of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, the City of Toronto’s speed enforcement cameras were launched on July 6 as a deterrent for drivers who drive over the posted speed limit and to address concerns of a rise in stunt driving. It has two types of cameras:
- Automated speed enforcement. A camera that takes images of vehicles travelling above the speed limit in communities with school zones or neighbourhoods deemed to be community safety zones.
- Red light cameras. A camera that captures an image of a vehicle that travels through an intersection in spite of a traffic signal with a red light.
You can find out which neighbourhoods across Toronto have either speed enforcement or red-light cameras set up by accessing the city’s speed camera map.
Other communities in Ontario including Ottawa, Brampton, and Durham Region (which includes the cities of Ajax, Pickering, Oshawa and Whitby) have also introduced speed enforcement cameras in recent weeks.
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How do speeding tickets affect insurance?
In general, one minor speeding fine is unlikely to affect your rate. However, racking up more than a couple of tickets can have a costly impact.
Speeding fines and other minor infractions such as failing to signal, failing to yield, or the obstruction of a licence plate may lead to a 10% increase in your premium.
If you’re convicted of something more serious such as distracted driving or failing to report an accident, you’ll likely see a 25% rise in your insurance. The most severe or criminal driving convictions like street racing, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or failing to remain at the scene of an accident may trigger a 100% hike to your auto insurance.
Avoiding the harsh truth of the camera’s eye
The best way to avoid getting ticketed by a speed enforcement camera is simple: don’t drive above the posted speed limit.
Driving safely has its rewards, especially if you sign up to a usage-based insurance (UBI) program that monitors your driving behaviour. Some insurers offer their customers the opportunity to enrol in what’s known as a pay-how-you-drive program, where you can save as much as 25% to 30% for consistently driving safely.
A UBI program like this typically involves downloading a mobile app, which uses GPS to determine your route, and allowing it to monitor things such as your average speed, the distance you travel, the vehicle’s location and how smoothly you accelerate and brake.
Whether you choose to look into a UBI program or not, remember to watch your speed whenever you’re behind the wheel. It’s the simplest and most effective way to maintain a clean driving record and avoid getting a speeding fine, having an accident, and keeping your auto insurance premium as low as possible.