Right turn on red light camera - complete stop

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Right turn on red light camera - complete stop

by: AnyyVen on
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:53 am

Good morning everyone,

I got a notice in the mail of a Red Light Camera System offense. I've been trying to do some research on this, but I don't know how out-of-date my knowledge is, and between responses of "fighting these is impossible" along with the common "people need to stop breaking the law and just pay their fines OMG CRIMINALS," I'm at a little bit of a loss. Please see the ticket (http://imageshack.com/a/img922/3210/eHeBBO.jpg)- it shows me

a) Stopped neatly behind the white light in the first picture while someone makes a left in front of me through the intersection. Note my stopping lights and right turn signal. Red light time: 12.7s
b) Proceeding safely through the intersection after stopping. The intersection is devoid of all traffic. Red light time: 14.3s

Total time: 1.6s

In both pictures it claims my speed is 30km/h, or that's what I assume that number means. I don't understand, as both the distance I travel (less than the 43ft I would have had to travel in 1.6s) contradicts this. I stopped at that light, and I have a dashcam - had this notice come earlier I could have prepared an adequate defense, but the video records over itself after a given time. I don't know why it seems to be saying I'm travelling 30km/h when I'm stopped at a red light, nor how this system is calibrated to do that if it isn't a speed offense system.

I've heard about the impossibility of fighting these tickets, but there has to be some recourse. I'm concerned too because I already tried to take this to Edward St only to be informed I HAVE to take it to Markham Rd because they repealed the "take it anywhere" law four years ago - what else has changed (I've been out of the country)? Am I still going to get a court date for next year some time?

I asked to speak to a prosecutor but the lady at the desk I believe put me for a court date and told me I'll get the notice in 4-6 weeks. I don't think this is right and I don't believe I'm guilty in any respect. I plan to go the whole route of requesting disclosure (and am aware of what I'll get) etc. Can anyone offer any insight or advice here, or at the very least do a better job of explaining what I'm looking at since the City of Toronto would rather not be so helpful?

Do I have any recourse for a dismissal? I'm a PhD student with 0 money.
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by: Whenaxis on
Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:13 pm

You do have to make a full and complete stop before making a right turn - are you sure you did that?

These red light camera tickets are hard to fight. But they do not affect your driving record as they are unable to ascertain who the driver was at the time. The only penalty is the fine.

You can go to trial and meet with the prosecutor to have the fine reduced - let them know your financial situation.
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by: ShrekTek on
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:44 pm

Hi AnyyVen

So the ticket is for a violation of Section 144 (18.1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, which reads:
Red light
(18) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular red indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle and shall not proceed until a green indication is shown.

Certificate of offence – owner – red light camera evidence
(18.1) A person who issues a certificate of offence and offence notice under subsection 3 (2) of the Provincial Offences Act for a contravention of subsection (18) shall, despite that Act and the regulations under that Act, specify this subsection, instead of subsection (18), as the provision that was contravened, if,
(a) the person who issues the certificate of offence and offence notice believes that the offence was committed on the basis of evidence obtained through the use of a red light camera system; and
(b) the defendant is being charged as the owner of the vehicle.

So the good news is that you have been charged as the OWNER of the vehicle and not as the DRIVER. This means that you will NOT receive any demerits against your license and it should not affect your insurance at all. The bad news of course is that it is still a $325 fine :(

If you read Section 144 (18) carefully, it says you need to stop at the red light and can not proceed until a green light is indicated. Does this intersection have a "no right turn on red" sign? I was under the impression that, unless there is a sign prohibiting it, you can turn right on a red light in Ontario, however this particular section seems to disagree with that.

The next thing to do is go read the regulations on Red Light Cameras, which can be found here:

As you read thru all of that, you will see that these pictures are from a TraffiStar red light system.

For the first point, read Section 3.2 (1) which explains what all the stuff on the picture means. The last column is the speed (according to the system) that you were travelling when the first picture was taken, which says 30 km/h. This is certainly a long way off of what you said (that you actually stopped). There are a couple ways that I know of that these devices can measure speed. One would be induction loops embedded in the pavement and the other would be with radar. If this system was using radar, then could it be possible that the speed of 30/km/h was from the vehicle turning thru the intersection?

The next point to consider is that in Section 4 (1) of the regulation, it says the officer needs to serve you (by mail is fine) within 23 days of the offence. According to the ticket, the deemed service date says May 17, 2017 which is 22 days. On the surface this seems okay, however I would cross-exam the officer on this point. Did the officer put the notice in an enevelope himself, put a stamp on it himself, and then place it in a Canada Post mailing box himself? If he simply signed it but then left it for somebody else to mail, then how does he know what day is was mailed? The section says that you may be served when the officer "sending the offence notice by regular prepaid mail or courier". I would argue that unless the officer put the letter in the mail box himself (or took it to the post office himself) how can he know for sure that it was "mailed" on the 17th or 18th for sure? It is certainly possible that the person who mails them out had it sitting around on their desk for a few days before they got to the post office.

The last point I would consider is cross-examining the officer on the what it says at the bottom of the ticket in the PLEASE NOTE section. "The Provincial Offences Offices has certified that the red light camera system used in the detection of this offence ... was in proper working order ... traffic signals were in proper working order". So this would bring up questions like "Officer did went out and test this system? How did you test? When did you test? How do you know it can accurately measure speed of moving vehicle? How do you know traffic lights were working properly that day? Did you observe them?"

Hope this is helpful
I am not a lawyer and I am not a paralegal and I do not give legal advice.
All statements made are my opinion only.

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by: bend on
Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:54 pm

There's a bit of confusion over your interpretation of the first picture. All red light camera tickets will show your car right before the line. The first picture always looks like this. The intent of the first picture is to show the car approaching the intersection while the light is already red before you move over the line.

Whether or not your brake lights are active doesn't prove you've stopped, they just prove you touched your brake pedal.

Red light cameras are triggered by speed. I don't see anything abnormal based on the pictures and the data. Everything seems on par.
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by: EphOph on
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:56 am

Did you get a ticket at the same intersection? In the OP's scan it shows the vehicle traveled just about 7 meters in 1.6 seconds which gives an AVERAGE speed of 15.8km/h. I measured it on google maps so it may be a bit off.

If he was stopped in the first picture and started moving instantly afterwards, the final speed in the second picture would be 31.2km/h.

If he was already traveling at 30km/h as the ticket suggests, then he would have traveled over 13 meters in 1.6 seconds, almost double what is shown.

The intersection is not 90 degrees so the white car in the picture is not actually making a full 90 degree turn. IMO much more likely the device picked up the speed of the white car.

Just taking two pictures leaves a lot of room for doubt in my opinion. A two second video would remove all doubt -- but maybe it would also remove too much revenue?
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by: Stanton on
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:34 am

Red light cameras only measure your speed when you first reach the stop line. Somewhat confusingly, the speed shown in the second photograph is just a repeat of the data from the first photo. It is NOT your actual speed at the time the second photo was taken. Probably make more sense to people if they simply left it blank.

From the Red Light Camera Regulation (O. Reg. 277/99):
3. (1) A photograph taken by a red light camera system may show or have superimposed on it any of the following information:
1. The date when it was taken.
2. The municipality where it was taken.
3. The time of day when it was taken.
4. The length of time that the indication was showing red before the photograph was taken.
5. The length of time that the indication was showing amber before the photograph was taken.
6. The speed at which the vehicle shown in the photograph was travelling when the first photograph in a series of photographs was taken.
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by: highwaystar on
Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:29 pm

Stanton is absolutely correct regarding the speed being at the time the first photo is taken. Put simply, your wife did NOT stop at the bar in time and is guilty. As it is an absolutely liability offence, she won't have a defence.

Look at pic 1; she's going 30km and is at most 1 meter away from the stop bar. Yet, at 30km, the average braking distance is 5 meters (and that's not even factoring 'reaction time'). So, she couldn't have stopped at the stop bar (i.e. the white line) in time.

I therefore suggest you simply pay it or consider going to an early resolution meeting and get a reduction in fine. In her case, she might get a $60 discount and not much more since the light was already red for over 12.7 seconds---pretty aggravating. So, do the math on whether your time is worth the $60; otherwise, just pay the ticket.
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by: AnyyVen on
Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:09 pm

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to reply and let everyone know that my court date is coming up in December, basically right at the edge of the 10-month mark that would otherwise see a section 11b. I appreciate all the feedback I've been provided and have some additional questions and comments.


At this point I believe an application (eg stay of proceedings) is my best course of action - in this case, on the grounds that my ability to defend myself was compromised by the manner in which I was notified. Considering I had evidence I believe disproved the claims and considering the damages from the charge - there are none - I think this is appropriate. To that end, I am interested in jurisprudence on delays of notification affecting evidence and defense (eg, a police officer pulling me over on the spot vs getting a letter six weeks later by regular mail), as well as jurisprudence on stopping distances from intersections. If anyone has any information, advice, or input on this please let me know.

My apologies for the length but I like to be thorough, just like the courts expect…


(1) Right turns on a red light are legal in Ontario unless otherwise signed. (https://www.ontario.ca/document/officia ... #section-2) Does anyone know where in the OHTA it mentions this?
(2) Im going to investigate any possible recourse via the service date information mentioned by ShrekTek.
(3) There appears to be no actual numerical limits on the stopped distance from red traffic control lights or stop signs, whether marked or unmarked. Does anyone know of any jurisprudence establishing any?
(4) It has been mentioned the speed could have been the other vehicle proceeding through the intersection. Does anyone know of any information or jurisprudence on the occurrence of this?
(5) The Red Light Camera System was certified as working, so (likely discovery) will provide this (or not). If I am not provided this (nor through disclosure, meaning the crown doesnt have it/cant use it either), I intend to challenge them to prove this.
(6) One of the important features of the law is "coming to a complete stop" and "proceeding when safe." For one, I absolutely stopped, whether or not in such a way I didnt trip the camera system: I have my own dashcam, and if I had better notification I could have provided that evidence, whether or not it assisted me. Therefore, I believe they have seriously impacted my ability to mount a defense. As well, and from the pictures, the "proceeding when safe" part is obviously fulfilled. Any comments on this approach are very welcome.

Detailed Reply

The first thing, thank you ShrekTek for a fairly significant and thorough reply. Indeed, unless signed otherwise, making a right on a red line is completely legal in Ontario provided you come to a full stop and proceed when the way is clear – I am having trouble finding clarification of this in the OHTA, but Ontarios own website mentions this (https://www.ontario.ca/document/officia ... #section-2). If anyone can provide citation from the OHTA that would be great, because Id love the exact wording.

I also never considered the aspect of the service date and that's something else I'm definitely going to look into. I have a severe problem with the manner in which I was served of this notice, because as I mentioned, I have a dashcam. I absolutely came to a stop at that intersection (see explanation below), and if I had been given a timely notification - as what happens when a real person pulls you over on the spot - I would be able to properly mount a defense for myself. I believe the method of service in this matter has taken that away from me, especially since because it was 3pm in the afternoon I wouldn't even see a 'flash.'

And while we're at it, while this is an absolute liability as highwaystar mentioned, the application of laws in general is always done with both the spirit as well as the letter so that we don't over-litigate. eg, there is clearly no traffic, I did stop and could've proved it, and no one was hurt or otherwise suffered as a result. I would think the bigger goal of this system is to target people who are clearly demonstrating dangerous behaviour, so I do believe there is significant reason and justification in my concerns here.

As well, thanks for providing some info for the red light camera system, this is going to be something I will need, because I am also interested in the metrics of how and what the cameras use to measure your speed. I had stopped somewhat short of the white line there for my own purposes - namely to let somebody off. Therefore, I'm interested in exactly how close to the white line the sensors would be active, because as far as legislation, the OHTA:

136(1)(a) shall stop his or her vehicle or street car at a marked stop line or, if none, then immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk or, if none, then immediately before entering the intersection; and

Also, from earlier in the section ShrekTek mentions:

Where to stop – intersection
(5) A driver who is directed by a traffic control signal erected at an intersection to stop his or her vehicle shall stop,
(a) at the sign or roadway marking indicating where the stop is to be made;
(b) if there is no sign or marking, immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk; or
(c) if there is no sign, marking or crosswalk, immediately before entering the intersection. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (5); 2006, c. 19, Sched. T, s. 6 (1).

I would like to point out use of the words "at a marked stop line" or otherwise "immediately before the crosswalk or intersection. Despite the certainty of an "absolute" liability, this leaves interpretation of this, in my opinion, as a big grey area. What exactly is "immediately?" 3mm? 30cm? 3m? Before ruling out the latter, or larger distances, consider that I regularly see many cars stopped for red lights at that distance or greater, and this particular intersection is right near a bus stop which is some ways back. That bus regularly, after picking up its riders, will then proceed straight forward and make a right without stopping a second time – so how many TTC vehicles have been slapped with this charge? Currently Im spending time putting together videographic evidence of this on the same dashcam that I now never empty unless Ive stored the files somewhere. Thanks Ontario.

Does anyone know of any jurisprudence establishing the minimum/maximum stopping distances from indicated lines for red lights (or stop signs)?

Thank you everyone for your explanations of the content of the letter. I now understand the "30km/h" speed indicated on it to be the speed of my vehicle when the first picture was taken. I have noticed a few people mention that it could have been the speed of the other vehicle moving through the intersection – is there any jurisprudence or existing information on that occurring?

Finally, highwaystar, I think youve misunderstood because I am not wayners wife and that picture does not show her vehicle. I also already mentioned I asked for an early resolution meeting but was given a court date instead (clearly) – from memory I remember not having to do this after a court date, has that changed (eg, do I request it now)?

Given the other statements Ive made here, Im not particularly interested in folding and just paying the ticket, because I dont think its appropriate. At this point, Im a fan of sticking up for myself. If it comes down to it, from what Ive read, I expect to get a reduced fine, so I look at that as my ‘worst case.

Without getting into the "ideological" aspects of this because they are completely useless in this endeavour, the RLCS was instituted based on an estimate of subsidization due to the revenue stream it would generate – a revenue stream that does not decrease as time goes on, as one would expect if this system was actually intended to curb the behaviour rather than just tax it. In other words, they do not expect fewer people to cut red lights from deterrence or hard knocks. Therefore, calling it a "safety device" as they do is absolutely appalling since it does nothing to, by very definition, increase safety.

I will continue to check this and keep everyone updated.

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by: argyll on
Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:35 am

Traffic control signals and pedestrian control signals
144 (1) In this section,

Exception – turn
(19) Despite subsection (18) and subject to subsection (14), a driver, after stopping his or her vehicle and yielding the right of way to traffic lawfully approaching so closely that to proceed would constitute an immediate hazard, may,

(a) turn to the right; or

(b) turn to the left from a one-way street into a one-way street,

without a green indication being shown. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (19).
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !
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by: AnyyVen on
Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:01 am

Hi argyll,

Thank you kindly for providing that (and so quickly as well!).

I notice in your signature it notes you're a former officer, would you be able to comment on my question re: stopping distance from red lights, whether in regards to hard [jurisprudence], or even rules of thumb? (I imagine for most patrol officers it would be subject to common sense, conditions, and other things the driver might be doing rather than a hard and fast rule?)
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by: AnyyVen on
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:15 pm


What I'm asking is, in regards to that line, are there any guides as to how close or far from it? The OHTA says "immediately." During the course of an average day, I see people stopped within an inch, a foot back, or an entire car length or more away from it. Are you aware of any rule or litigation regarding this?

Eg, if I stopped 30cm back from the line completely vs I stopped 3m back from it.
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by: Decatur on
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:39 pm

Here it is:

Where to stop – intersection
(5) A driver who is directed by a traffic control signal erected at an intersection to stop his or her vehicle shall stop,

(a) at the sign or roadway marking indicating where the stop is to be made;

(b) if there is no sign or marking, immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk; or

(c) if there is no sign, marking or crosswalk, immediately before entering the intersection

If theres a roadway marking, you must stop "at" the roadway marking. Not over it, not a car length back, not a metre back.
In the end, it would be up to the courts to interpret any evidence given at a trial.
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