Thousands caught by Ottawa’s photo radar cameras not ticketed
Ottawa's mayor says the city lost $1.1 million in revenue last year because tickets were not mailed out to motorists caught speeding by photo radar cameras in time.
Now, Jim Watson is calling on the Ontario government to extend the processing limitation period for mailing out tickets to motorists nabbed by the cameras to between 45 and 60 days.
Under the Ontario regulations for automated speed enforcement cameras, a ticket must be issued by regular prepaid mail or by courier within 23 days of the driver being caught by the camera.
In a letter to Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, Watson says the centre that processes automated speed enforcement infractions "continues to struggle with the processing of these offence notices" within the limitation period, "largely due to physical distancing requirements in the workplace."
"In 2021, 13 per cent of the City of Ottawa's speeding incidents captured through Automated Speed Enforcement were not able to be processed within the limitation period, which amounted to a loss of in revenue of approximately $1.1 million for the City," Watson writes.
"That is $1.1 million less in our coffers to reinvest in road safety measures that help protect vulnerable road users."
Watson says the city believes extending the processing limitation period to between 45 and 60 days would be a reasonable change that is "fair to motorists and practical from an administrative point of view."
The city of Ottawa says the eight photo radar cameras issued 75,887 tickets in the first 11 months of 2021. Data for December is not yet available.
If 13 per cent of motorists didn't receive a ticket because it wasn't mailed out in 23 days, that would mean nearly 10,000 motorists were not punished for speeding after being caught by photo radar cameras.
The city of Ottawa says if no ticket is issued, it's not registered.
"Once the provincial timeline passes – 23 days from the date of the infraction – the incident is not processed, rejected and coded as 'exceeding timelines.' No ticket or notice of offense is created from these incidents," Automated Enforcement Measures analyst Tetsuro Ide said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.
Ottawa motorists expressed frustration that speeders are not being punished.
"It’s hard to believe that it's kind of a mistake, you know. I don’t know how these people work but it shouldn’t happen," Gaston Verville said.
"You just issue something, you know. You don’t require a scientist to do this kind of a job. You need somebody that mails it."
Samy Mohamed says motorists need to slow down in school zones.
"It's not good to go fast like this. They have to be slower," Mohamed said on Friday.