Red-light cameras were in the spotlight last week after the City of Thunder Bay announced that they are considering implementing a “red-light camera program” at 10 intersections. Such a program might sound like old news for many in Eastern Ontario, where several cities (including Ottawa) have operated a red-light camera program for many years. Ottawa, for instance, already has close to 80 red-light cameras across the city.
Given the effort and investment involved, are red-light cameras worth it? Studies show that they are. Red-light cameras have been proven to prevent dangerous driving, leading to fewer dangerous “t-bone” accidents (often referred to as “angle collisions”). Read on to learn more about Ontario’s red-light camera program, the danger of angle collisions, and how to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are involved in a collision.
Use of Red-Light Cameras in Eastern Ontario
Red-light cameras help to decrease high-risk driving at busy or dangerous intersections. When approaching a monitored intersection, drivers will notice a sign alerting them to the presence of a red-light camera. (Posting a sign might seem counterintuitive, but keep in mind that installing a red-light camera is more than an easy way to catch errant drivers – the main goal is to discourage dangerous driving as a preventative measure.) If a driver enters the intersection on a red-light anyways, the red-light camera photographs their license plate and the vehicle owner receives a ticket in the mail.
Why Red-Light Cameras Are Needed to Reduce Angle Collisions
By preventing high-risk driving at busy intersections, red-light cameras help to decrease the rates of angle collisions. Accidents involving a driver who runs a red-light tend to be serious, as the offending vehicle is usually moving quickly and, given the flow of traffic, the victim’s vehicle is likely to be struck at an angle. Angle collisions can be especially serious given the lack of protection on the sides of vehicles. Bear in mind that angle collisions are not entirely uncommon – Ottawa counted 567 angle collisions at signalized intersections in 2018.
Wondering which red-light cameras in Ottawa catch the most offenders? According to data obtained through Open Ottawa, the top five intersections where red-light camera tickets were doled out in 2019 are:
- King Edward Avenue southbound at St. Patrick Street (4,739 tickets)
- Kent Street northbound at Arlington Avenue (2,825 tickets)
- Heron Road eastbound, west of Bank Street (2,706 tickets)
- King Edward Avenue northbound at St. Andrew Street (2,014 tickets)
- Catherine Street westbound at O’Connor Street (1,628 tickets)
Have Red-Light Cameras Decreased Angle Collision Rates in Eastern Ontario?
Installing red-light cameras has a proven effect on the rates of angle collisions. The City of Toronto has noted a 25% reduction in the number of angle collisions resulting in fatalities and serious injuries and a 17% overall reduction in angle collisions since implementing a red-light camera program. York has also reported a significant drop in the number of angle collisions. Studies cited by the City of Ottawa (see the City’s page linked above) demonstrate that red-light cameras can even decrease red-light running by 42% – not only do red-light cameras decrease collision rates in monitored intersections, but they can encourage better driving behaviour across the board.
Steps to Take Following an Angle Collision
Despite the decrease in collisions brought about by red-light cameras, you may still find yourself involved in a collision. If you are the victim of an angle collision, your first step should be to seek medical treatment – even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. From there, you will want to obtain evidence for your case, such as photographs of the vehicle or the scene of the accident. You will also want to obtain the contact information of witnesses to the accident (ideally, neutral third parties who can verify what happened). Finally, you may want to obtain red-light camera footage or CCTV from nearby businesses. For more detailed information on what to do immediately following a motor vehicle accident, see our guide here. These steps may sound overwhelming, but they will help your case and can be easily managed with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Skilled Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Eastern Ontario and North Bay
At Tierney Stauffer LLP, our experienced personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. While navigating life in the wake of a collision can feel daunting, we have the experience and skills to tackle the legal issues and allow you to focus on your recovery.
We recognize that no two claims are the same, which is why we give each client the personalized attention needed to bring about the best possible resolution. Call us at 1-888-799-8057 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.