Enhancing Municipal Road Safety through Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE)
Bill or Act:
Highway Traffic Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is proposing to develop a regulatory framework in support of the legislative amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) to allow municipalities to improve municipal road safety in high-risk areas through the introduction of automated speed enforcement (ASE) systems.
The ministry is also proposing to make supporting amendments to Ontario Regulation 277/99 to streamline the regulatory approval process for accepting municipalities into Ontario's Red Light Camera Program (RLC) program.
Together, these amendments respond to municipal requests by permitting interested municipalities to:
a) adopt, at their discretion, ASE systems in school zones and community safety zones on roads with a speed limit under 80km/h in order to address speeding; and,
b) gain acceptance into Ontario's Red Light Camera (RLC) program, through a streamlined process.
The introduction of ASE systems in municipalities in Ontario and streamlining RLC
authorization will respond to stakeholders concerns and requests, while underscoring the government's commitment to vulnerable road user safety and to keeping our communities safe. This initiative will impose no regulatory impact on vehicle operators or owners that comply with road safety regulations, and no impact on businesses in Ontario. However, owners of vehicles that are used to violate speed limits in community safety or school zones where ASE systems are used would be fined.
In support of the new legislative amendments under the regulatory and policy framework that the province will be developing, municipalities will be responsible for all aspects of an ASE program administration, including the installation of devices, location selection, and the processing and distribution of evidence and tickets.
This approach is flexible and allows municipalities to maintain status quo or to introduce these new road safety tools based on local safety concerns.
Ontario continues to be recognized as a world leader in road safety as a result of its tough laws, strong enforcement and the dedication of our many road safety partners. For the past 15 years, Ontario's roads have consistently ranked either first or second in road safety in North America.
Research demonstrates that lower speeds and ASE in school zones and community safety zones can be expected to reduce serious injuries and fatalities.
Developing a supporting regulatory framework demonstrates the government's commitment to injury prevention and to keeping the province's communities safe and strong by reducing speeding and speed-related collisions.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
To support the legislative changes passed under Bill 65, The Safer School Zones Act, 2017, the ministry plans to bring forward supporting ASE regulations to outline various operational, procedural and evidentiary requirements for the ASE program. These requirements may include such things as a description of how photographs are to be used as evidence, the types of ASE system technology that may be used by municipalities, and a description of enforcement procedures for any resulting Provincial Offences Act charges.
Please note that because automated enforcement technologies are only able to identify plate and vehicle used in the commission of the offence and not necessarily the offending driver, driver-based penalties such as demerit points and licence suspensions will not apply under the ASE program.
With respect to Ontario's Red Light Camera Program, the ministry is proposing changes to Ontario Regulation 277/99 in support of amendments made under the safer School Zone Act, 2017, to streamline municipal authorization to use RLCs. Of note, this proposal will remove reference to municipalities, by name, in Regulation 277/99.
Ultimately, the overarching goal of the government's regulatory framework for ASE and RLCs is to enhance road safety in municipalities across the province.
We invite your comments and look forward to hearing your feedback.
September 3, 2019
Comments Due Date:
October 3, 2019
Ministry of Transportation
Road Safety Policy Office
Safety Policy and Education Branch
87 Sir William Hearst Avenue
Building "A", Room 212