What is Automated Speed Enforcement?
As of December 2019, the Ontario government has granted municipalities the ability to use Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) on their roads. This is essentially a camera that clocks the speed of passing vehicles, takes a photograph of their vehicle/licence plate, and allows the city to mail the owner a speeding camera ticket.
The regulation under the Safer School Zones Act grant the municipalities permission to use speeding cameras as a means to detect speed in School Zones and Community Safety Zones specifically. At this point in time, it does not appear that the cameras will be used in other areas – including highways.
The locations where the cameras are being deployed are REQUIRED to display a Municipal Speed Camera In Use sign, which looks like this:
Do Speeding Camera Tickets Have Demerit Points?
For anyone who has received one of these speeding camera tickets, the question will immediately be whether the ticket has points and whether it will impact insurance rates. At this time, the answer to this question is that it will not have points and typically does not impact insurance. The police have no way to know who was actually driving the vehicle, so the ticket is issued against the vehicle owner. For this reason, it will not appear on your driving record, so the insurance company would have no way to know about it unless you call and tell them about it. It is generally “just a fine”.
Similar to a Red Light Camera ticket, we normally do not assist people with contesting these charges. The assumption is that the money you would spend hiring us is better used dealing with the fine since there are no points and typically no impact on insurance rates. If you have received one of these speeding camera tickets and still think you may want representation for defending against the charge, feel free to contact us to discuss your options.
The rules around this new tactic are outlined in a regulation added to the Highway Traffic Act, which can be reviewed here
Here are some of the highlights:
Automated speed enforcement system
2. (1) For the purposes of Part XIV.1 of the Act, a system is an automated speed enforcement system if it consists of a combination of a camera and speed-measuring equipment that can be used to take a photograph of a motor vehicle and determine and record the rate of speed at which the motor vehicle is travelling at the time the photograph is taken.
(2) An automated speed enforcement system may be permanently or temporarily located on or adjacent to any highway.
Information or data on photograph
3. (1) A photograph taken by an automated speed enforcement system may show or have superimposed upon it any information or data, including:
1. The time and date when the photograph was taken.
2. A description of the location where the photograph was taken, including the names of streets and the direction of travel.
3. The rate of speed at which a motor vehicle shown in the photograph was travelling when the photograph was taken.
4. A mark, line or other indicator to identify the motor vehicle shown in the photograph that was determined to have been speeding.
5. Subject to subsection (2), an indication of the lane in which the motor vehicle was travelling.
6. The posted speed limit on the highway at the time when and the place where the photograph was taken.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph 5 of subsection (1), the lane furthest to the right side of a highway may be identified as lane 1, and each lane to the left of lane 1 may be identified as lane 2, lane 3 and so on.
Photographs as evidence
4. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a photograph obtained through the use of an automated speed enforcement system shall be received in evidence in a proceeding under the Provincial Offences Act in respect of an alleged offence under section 128 of the Act.
(2) The photograph must comply with the requirements of this Regulation.
(3) A photograph that purports to be certified by a provincial offences officer as having been obtained through the use of an automated speed enforcement system shall be received in evidence as proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the photograph was obtained through the use of an automated speed enforcement system.
(4) A provincial offences officer shall not certify a photograph as having been obtained through the use of an automated speed enforcement system unless the automated speed enforcement system was tested and established to be accurate within the 12 months immediately preceding the date of offence.
(5) A photograph of a motor vehicle obtained through the use of an automated speed enforcement system is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that,
(a) the automated speed enforcement system was located on or adjacent to a highway and was working properly at the time that the photograph was taken;
(b) the information or data that is shown or superimposed on the front or the back of the photograph, including any information or data authorized under section 3, is true; and
(c) the motor vehicle was being operated at a rate of speed in excess of the posted speed limit contrary to section 128 of the Act.
(6) In order to be received in evidence, an enlargement of a photograph must clearly show the number plate of the vehicle that is the subject of the photograph and as much of the rest of the photograph as is necessary to show that the enlargement is of part of that photograph.
(7) An enlargement or reproduction of a photograph or part of a photograph taken by an automated speed enforcement system is not required to show or have superimposed on it any information, if the enlargement or reproduction is tendered in evidence together with the photograph of which it is an enlargement or reproduction.
(8) No person who has entered a plea of not guilty at trial shall be convicted of an offence on the basis of a photograph obtained through the use of an automated speed enforcement system unless the photograph is tendered in evidence at trial.