Council approved framework that would use automated cameras to capture traffic violations
The town of Bradford West Gwillimbury wants to hit speeders where it hurts: their wallets.
At its Tuesday evening meeting, the Council approved a resolution supporting a proposed regulatory framework for administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) for vehicle offenses captured by automated cameras.
“It’s the most important thing we’re doing tonight,” Coun said. Gary Lamb.
The proposed AMPs framework provides an alternative to the court system, where an employee designated by the municipality can try the offense rather than a justice of the peace. The AMP is issued directly by the municipality rather than as a ticket under the Provincial Offenses Act (POA).
The savings from eliminating the courts can help a city reduce some of the costs associated with administering automated camera violations, which Lamb, who chairs the city’s traffic committee, believes is the way to making the streets safer, more so than any other deterrent put in place so far.
“It’s the future of traffic mitigation in this city,” Lamb said, adding “we can put concrete things everywhere and so on,” but a severe financial penalty — and probably one that can’t successfully combated – is the way to really get drivers to slow down.
“(With) the high costs of police in cars, cameras are our only answer,” the adviser said. Peter Dykie added. “Ultimately, you can capture the main thoroughfares and, if they’re mobile, some of the side streets. It will attract people’s attention.
The province is proposing to introduce a new regulatory framework for AMPs programs under the Highway Traffic Act, an implementation made possible by the Getting Ontario Moving Act of 2019. The Ontario Traffic Conference sent a bulletin to municipalities, notifying them of the potential change and seeking feedback.
City staff went further.
“The Ontario Traffic Conference was looking for support but did not provide a resolution,” said City Clerk Rebecca Murphy, who drafted the resolution unanimously approved by councillors. “I put this together based on our support. (The City) is very strongly in favor of this, from an enforcement perspective.
The resolution will be communicated to the Ontario Minister of Transportation and MPP for York-Simcoe, Caroline Mulroney, the Provincial Regulatory Registry, the Ontario Traffic Conference and Simcoe County. The latter was at Lamb’s request.
He noted that this issue had already been discussed at county council and that other municipalities in Simcoe are just as frustrated with traffic control as Bradford West Gwillimbury. Communities without locally directed police services could greatly benefit from a move to an AMP.
“The speeders are out of control,” Lamb said. “The cars are too good, the roads are too good, it’s just that people’s brains aren’t that good.”
The AMP amount is similar to existing POA fine equivalents to ensure parity across different jurisdictions, the Ontario Traffic Conference newsletter explained.
It wouldn’t be the only AMP program potentially coming to town. In November, the Committee of the Whole recommended that staff investigate the municipality’s implementation of an AMP program for its parking violations.