Penalties for running red lights should be substantially increased, says a staff report to Toronto council that also outlines plans to quadruple the number of such cameras in the city, to 98 by the end of 2009.
While the report is silent on how much penalties should rise, Coun. Michael Thompson, whose motion triggered it, is not. He wants the penalty boosted to $500.
“The $180 right now is simply too low,” he told the Toronto Star. “People don’t pay much attention. It’s the cost of dinner for two and a night out in Toronto; we need to change that.”
He also wants running a red to cost drivers six demerit points, not the current three. Points can only be assessed by police at the scene.
The city report says more than 74,000 charges have been laid since red-light cameras were introduced in November 2000, while police on the ground have laid 91,000 more.
Transportation Minister Jim Bradley’s office declined to comment on the issue because it’s not yet city policy. It goes before the works committee on April 9.