‘Ottawa’ 5,700 Quebec Vehicles Caught on Camera Running Reds in Ottawa, but no Tickets Issued
Quebec drivers are still dodging Ottawa’s red-light cameras, with roughly 5,700 vehicles caught burning stop lights last year and none of the motorists receiving a ticket.
It’s the equivalent of about 15 cars each day zipping through red lights at camera-protected intersections, but the drivers not being punished the same way Ontario drivers are.
More non-Ontario vehicles were getting away with red-light violations in 2016 compared to the previous year. In 2015, the city recorded about 4,900 times that a vehicle from outside Ontario was caught by a red-light camera.
The clear interest in Ottawa is making sure the city can send tickets to Quebec motorists who are regular users of Ottawa roads.
Around mid-2016, the city was on track to developing a system to access Quebec vehicle records so tickets can be sent to the offending motorists. The city figured it would be ready in the first three months of 2017.
Now the city doesn’t know when it will be able to ticket Quebec drivers for red-light camera infractions.
“At this point in time, we have no date to provide as to when a system will be in place and the city can start to issue tickets to vehicles with Quebec plates,” according to Phil Landry, director of traffic services, who responded by email through the city’s communications department.
Landry said the city is working with Quebec’s licensing administration and a joint processing centre in Toronto to come up with a way to issue tickets to Quebec-plated vehicles. Staff will provide updates to council on discussions with the Quebec agency, he said.
It’s not clear what’s holding the city up.
The city has been missing out on fine revenue from scofflaw Quebec motorists for more than a year.
The Ontario government made the necessary rule changes so municipalities could go after drivers of out-of-province motorists when they were caught by red-light cameras. It was just up to the City of Ottawa to figure out a way to gain access to the Quebec vehicle database so the tickets could be mailed to the offenders.
It’s no small task, with several city departments involved in the efforts to send tickets to Quebec-based drivers. It has required input from traffic, finance, legal and technology departments at city hall.
The City of Ottawa recently confirmed the 20 new locations for red-light cameras. That’s 20 more intersections where Quebec-plated vehicles will be able to break the law without paying a penalty to the city.