‘They’re very exact’: New red light cameras snapping thousands worth in fines

Motorists are being reminded to slow down and resist any urge to drive through yellow or red lights after 409 tickets were issued in Windsor since the start of the year.

Ten new red-light cameras went live on Jan. 1 as part of a 10-year, $22 million traffic safety improvement plan in the city. Ends cost $325.

“I don’t mind getting a ticket but not that much,” says Mary Pugliese whose husband was mailed a ticket in February. “That’s called high robbery in my books.”

“I already paid!” explains Jimmy Pugliese. “It’s a little steep but you know what? To me now, I tell my drivers to be very careful because I’m not going to pay for it anymore.”

The La Stella Supermarket owner says he can’t recall if he was behind the wheel or if it was one of his employees, telling CTV News he doesn’t mind paying this time.

“I think it’s a good idea though, you know, keep us watching make sure that we stop at a red light,” Pugliese says.

The new photosystem takes two pictures: the first, at the stop-bar entering the intersection and then a second about one to two seconds later.

A provincial offenses officer in Toronto will review each suspected violation and issue a ticket to the plate owner, not the driver, meaning there’s no loss of demerit points, according to city staff.

“If your car is then right in the middle of the intersection, we know you’ve run a red light. If your car is still sitting at the stop bar, you did not run it and then those photos just get disposed of and no ticket is issued.” Shawna Boakes, the city’s executive director of operations and former senior manager of traffic operations says the cameras operate consistently at targeted intersections where analysis has shown side-impact collisions are high.

“They’re very exact they work with the signal system and they catch pretty much everybody going through it on a continuous basis.”

The 10 intersections with red light cameras are:

  • Wyandotte Street East at Goyeau Street
  • University Avenue West at Crawford Avenue
  • Erie Street East at Goyeau Street
  • Howard Avenue at EC Row Expressway eastbound off-ramp
  • Huron Church Road at Tecumseh Road West
  • Eugenie Street East at McDougall Street
  • McHugh Street at Clover Avenue
  • Wyandotte Street at Ouellette Avenue
  • Ouellette Avenue at Giles Boulevard
  • Seminole Street at Central Avenue

“No one is exempt to this,” says Boakes who tells CTV News the city worked with funeral homes ahead of time to have processions avoid the intersections.

“Emergency vehicles know the process that they have to follow. They have to have their lights flashing, they have to come to a complete stop prior to proceeding through. City fleet vehicles do not have that option we are required to stop. And funerals, unfortunately, the Highway Traffic Act does not allow for funeral processions to proceed through so they are not exempt either.”

“Our funeral directors are required to pump the brakes if you will to be able to slow the process down to keep everyone safe,” says Families First Funeral Home General Manager Jennifer Wells. “It’s our job as the professionals to continue to educate them and to agree with what the law says and what our community expects.”

Wells says staff inform anyone taking part in a funeral procession that all vehicles must stop at red lights even if other motorists wave through.

“We have done our due diligence to make sure that the drivers are prepared,” she says. “We’ve provided them with announcements we’ve provided them with some cards to keep with them in their vehicle so that we can keep them safe, that we can arrive safely at the cemetery and so that they are not getting into any sticky situations violating the Traffic Act.”

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