Drivers beware: London will finish rolling out 10 red-light cameras soon, and just four cameras alone caused a spike in tickets this summer.
While August data is pending release, in July 2017 the police issued 205 tickets at four red-light camera intersections. The previous July, police issued 159 warnings and tickets for traffic light infractions across the entire city, according to the London Free Press.
Shane Maguire, London roadway lighting and traffic control manager, said there are currently seven active red-light cameras in the city with a total of 10 to be installed by late fall. Further, several cameras can be found near Western University. Nearby intersections include Oxford Street at Wonderland Road, Huron Street at Highbury Avenue, and Richmond Road at Windemere Road.
The project is costing London $3.8 million, but Maguire said that the city is expecting to offset these costs with the revenue from tickets. The standard fine for running a red light is $325, but drivers can dispute the ticket in court. City council approved the cameras last year as a part of London’s “Vision Zero,” a five-year strategy implemented by the city in 2014. The goal is to reduce, and theoretically eliminate, all injuries and fatal collisions.
“The cameras complement the efforts of London police officers," said London Police Service Sgt. Amanda Pfeffer. "The technology enables the efficient enforcement of red light violations at some of London’s busiest intersections that sometimes officers are unable to monitor."
Red light cameras catch drivers using metallic loops. These metallic loops are installed underneath intersection crosswalks and are connected to the traffic signals and cameras. As soon as the signal turns red, the camera is programmed to take a photo if a vehicle passes over the loops. After that, two pictures are taken: one as soon as the loop senses a vehicle and one while the vehicle is in the middle of the intersection. The second image also includes the traffic signal.
“What this really is, is a safety initiative to reduce serious collisions,” Maguire said.