How do red light camera tickets work in Ontario?

In a never-ending effort to keep our roads safe, the Province of Ontario has passed legislation allowing municipalities to install red light cameras at intersections that photograph vehicles who fail to stop for a red light, then ticket them for reckless driving.

Plenty of municipalities have installed them, including:

  1. Ottawa
  2. Peel
  3. Sudbury
  4. Toronto
  5. London
  6. Waterloo Region
  7. Hamilton

More than half of all red light cameras can be found in the Greater Toronto Area. Understanding how the program works can help you avoid red light camera tickets.

How do red light cameras work?

Red light cameras are installed at intersections that have higher-than-usual instances of drivers running the light. If a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red, a camera takes a photo of the offending vehicle and its license plate.

Vehicles that enter the intersection on a yellow light, or those that were already in the intersection before the light turned red, are not penalized. Only cars that pass the stop line after the light has turned red are photographed.

As the program is first and foremost intended to act as a deterrent and change driver behaviour, every intersection involved has signs advising drivers that there is a camera present.

Consequences for running a red light

Vehicles that are photographed by the cameras are mailed a red light camera ticket issued by the Ministry of Transportation. The ticket is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle and includes a photo of the offending vehicle running the light as well as the date and time of the infraction.

The current red light camera ticket costs the vehicle owner $325, with the proceeds split between the province and the municipality.

Do red light camera tickets earn demerit points?

Red light camera tickets are the only moving violations issued in Ontario where the ticket is issued to the owner of the vehicle and not the driver. This is because the driver cannot be positively identified in the photograph.

In Ontario, demerit points are assigned to a driver and not a vehicle. That means the red light camera tickets do not result in demerit points.

Are red light cameras just there for show?

Red light cameras are installed at busy intersections with a history of red light violations and an unusually high number of vehicle collisions and pedestrian injuries. Statistics show that more than 40% of fatalities at intersections are caused by red light runners, making this program crucial in efforts to reduce the number of fatal accidents.

Traffic data shows that the program is a resounding success in reducing these accidents. The number of vehicle collisions and pedestrian injuries has been reduced by 40% at those intersections with a red light camera, depending on the region.

In Toronto, the number of angle collisions causing death, injury or property damage have been reduced by more than 60 per cent.

Red light cameras play an important role in reducing traffic accidents in urban areas. Regardless whether they act as a deterrent or a punishment for breaking the law, they have succeeded in making our streets safer.


Since you won’t earn demerit points from red light camera tickets, you likely won’t receive any insurance rate increases. Get a 3-minute quote to see what a better rate looks like for you without worrying about these tickets!

In a never-ending effort to keep our roads safe, the Province of Ontario has passed legislation allowing municipalities to install red light cameras at intersections that photograph vehicles who fail to stop for a red light, then ticket them for reckless driving.

Plenty of municipalities have installed them, including:

  1. Ottawa
  2. Peel
  3. Sudbury
  4. Toronto
  5. London
  6. Waterloo Region
  7. Hamilton

More than half of all red light cameras can be found in the Greater Toronto Area. Understanding how the program works can help you avoid red light camera tickets.

How do red light cameras work?

Red light cameras are installed at intersections that have higher-than-usual instances of drivers running the light. If a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red, a camera takes a photo of the offending vehicle and its license plate.

Vehicles that enter the intersection on a yellow light, or those that were already in the intersection before the light turned red, are not penalized. Only cars that pass the stop line after the light has turned red are photographed.

As the program is first and foremost intended to act as a deterrent and change driver behaviour, every intersection involved has signs advising drivers that there is a camera present.

Consequences for running a red light

Vehicles that are photographed by the cameras are mailed a red light camera ticket issued by the Ministry of Transportation. The ticket is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle and includes a photo of the offending vehicle running the light as well as the date and time of the infraction.

The current red light camera ticket costs the vehicle owner $325, with the proceeds split between the province and the municipality.

Do red light camera tickets earn demerit points?

Red light camera tickets are the only moving violations issued in Ontario where the ticket is issued to the owner of the vehicle and not the driver. This is because the driver cannot be positively identified in the photograph.

In Ontario, demerit points are assigned to a driver and not a vehicle. That means the red light camera tickets do not result in demerit points.

Are red light cameras just there for show?

Red light cameras are installed at busy intersections with a history of red light violations and an unusually high number of vehicle collisions and pedestrian injuries. Statistics show that more than 40% of fatalities at intersections are caused by red light runners, making this program crucial in efforts to reduce the number of fatal accidents.

Traffic data shows that the program is a resounding success in reducing these accidents. The number of vehicle collisions and pedestrian injuries has been reduced by 40% at those intersections with a red light camera, depending on the region.

In Toronto, the number of angle collisions causing death, injury or property damage have been reduced by more than 60 per cent.

Red light cameras play an important role in reducing traffic accidents in urban areas. Regardless whether they act as a deterrent or a punishment for breaking the law, they have succeeded in making our streets safer.


Since you won’t earn demerit points from red light camera tickets, you likely won’t receive any insurance rate increases. Get a 3-minute quote to see what a better rate looks like for you without worrying about these tickets!

Seriously, what else can you do in 3 minutes?

Boil half an egg?

You might like these posts, too.

The 10 best places to buy a car in Toronto

The 10 best places to buy a car in Toronto

Should you buy a car in Toronto? You can go back and forth on this decision in a city with so much transit. The freedom of your own vehicle is appealing, but is it practical for city life? If you like to go on weekend trips, visit family and friends back home, or...

read more
The school zone speed limit, insurance, and you

The school zone speed limit, insurance, and you

It's 8:25am, you're running late for work, and you still have to drop the kids off at school. They jump out of the car and you peel out of the parking lot—not noticing the cop just down the street waiting to enforce the school zone speed limit. Oops. Red and blue...

read more
The Best Cars for Students in Ontario

The Best Cars for Students in Ontario

The parent’s guide to the best cars for students in Ontario Your child is all grown up and going off to university! You’ve watched the savings build up slowly, and now they’re off to buy their first set of wheels. They’ll probably ask you for your opinion on the best...

read more

How are we doing?

How are we doing?