You arrive home after a long day of work and check your mailbox. Inside, you find a ticket from a speed camera with a photo of your vehicle driving above the posted limit. How did this ticket get to you? And will it affect your insurance?
Let’s address some commonly asked questions about speed camera tickets.
How do speed cameras work?
Ontario’s Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) is a system of photo radar cameras and speed measurement devices that work together to promote safer driving. The ASE system automatically detects and captures images of vehicles driving above the posted speed limit. ASE systems are usually placed in community safety zones and school zones to improve pedestrian safety.
The cameras capture a photo of the vehicle’s license plate and record important information, including:
The vehicle’s license plate number, make and model
How fast the driver was going
The direction they were travelling
The date and time of the offence
A provincial officer then reviews the photo and ticket information for accuracy. Once verified, a ticket is mailed to the home address of the vehicle’s registered owner — regardless of who was driving at the time.
What are the penalties for speed camera tickets?
The main consequence of a speed camera ticket is the fine you’ll have to pay. The fine will depend on how many kilometres you were driving over the speed limit and the area you were driving in. The faster over the posted speed limit you were driving, the higher the fine will be. Keep in mind that the fines for speeding in community safety zones and school zones—where ASE systems are typically placed—are higher than the fines for speeding on regular roads. You’ll also have to pay a victim surcharge fee and a court fee on top of the ticket fine itself. Check your regional guidelines to determine what the cost associated with a speed camera ticket in your area would be.
You won’t receive demerit points from a speed camera ticket because the camera can’t identify the person driving during the offence. For the same reason, the ticket will not be added to your driving record. This is different from a traditional traffic stop by police, during which an officer can identify the person speeding and penalize them accordingly.
Will a speed camera ticket impact my future insurance premium?
When applying for a car insurance policy, or renewing your current policy, your insurance provider will often review your driving record from the last three years to determine your level of risk. Since the speed camera ticket is not added to your driving record, your insurer will not be notified and the ticket will not directly impact your insurance premium. However, bad driving behaviour like speeding can be difficult to break and may eventually result in a traffic stop by police, or a collision. In both cases, your insurer would be notified and you’d likely see an increase in your future insurance premium.
Remember, it pays to be a safe driver! In fact, if you have a clean driving record with no traffic violations within the last three years, you could be eligible for a discount on your car insurance premium.
Contact an OTIP broker at 1-888-892-4935 to get a quote for car insurance. Or, if you’re a current OTIP policyholder, call 1-888-494-0090 to inquire about eligible discounts.