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Red light cameras about safety, not profit, Sudbury officials say

Red-light cameras in Sudbury have been busy in the last year catching drivers at different locations in the city.

According to city officials, from Sept. 21, 2022, to July 31, 2023, they've ticketed 4,660 drivers for running red lights at one of the six permanently fixed camera locations.

"The cameras are working really well to be perfectly honest. We had a couple challenges through the winter, which we worked through the vendor, but otherwise they've been really effective and they're catching people running red lights," said Joe Rocca, acting director of linear infrastructure services.

"It's definitely a significant number. If you do the math it's about 15 a day, it's quite a bit and we're hopeful that those numbers are going to start trending downwards."

Rocca said they have plans to do more targeted education to show people that it's never OK to run a red light.

At $325 a pop, the city stands to generate more than $1.5 million in revenue. Critics have called it a cash grab on the part of the city, but Rocca said it has always been about safety.

"I get it, when you look at the revenue it does seem like we're in it to potentially make a profit but the reality is these locations that were identified have been identified because there was the greatest potential for safety improvement," he said.

Rocca said those intersections had a pattern of 'angle-type' collisions that were higher than normal.

"A red light camera system has been shown to be effective, it's been shown to be effective so much so that 25 per cent of those collisions have been reduced,” he said.

Rocca added it's too early to crunch the numbers to see if there has been a reduction.

Council made the decision to allow the project to go ahead and it's one Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer still stands behind.

"It's not a case of being a so-called cash grab but it's to improve the safety of our citizens here in the city," said Sizer.

"I'm of the belief that safety is our first concern. It's not the money that it's generating. I would hope that we wouldn't make a dollar from the cameras and the safety of our citizens would be improved by the adherence of the Highway Traffic Act. It's a very simple solution, stop at the red lights."


Sizer said the number of red light tickets the city is seeing shows these cameras are warranted.

"As councillors, we get many calls including red lights, stop sign infractions, speeding so this is just another tool in our toolbox to protect our community," he said.

Staff will be bringing a review to council at the end of the year, providing them the option to explore whether the program should be expanded or if six red-light cameras are sufficient.

CTV News spoke to drivers at the intersection of Lasalle and Montrose and the reaction was mixed.

"I don't believe in them, I believe all they do is hurt drivers that make a simple mistake rather than target drivers that are actively running red lights," said Robert, whose store was just steps away from the intersection.

"Personally I think it's a good thing. I think our city has a few aggressive drivers at hand and I think it's good that we can in our own way try to control the situation," Ray said.

"It stops people from blowing the red lights, many accidents, we're standing at one of the intersections right now and I've seen many so it is a good thing," said Anne. Top Stories

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