The Town of Newmarket is bringing automated speed enforcement cameras to 14 local neighbourhoods next year to address traffic control concerns.
Council approved the 14 locations Sept. 18, with two going into each of the municipality’s seven wards. The cameras in community safety zones will automatically capture images of cars going past the posted limit, which are then sent to a municipal enforcement officer to review and ticket.
Newmarket Mayor John Taylor said speeding is a problem, and the cameras will help change driver behaviour.
“This program is proven to reduce speeding on our roads and make our streets even safer. Newmarket has zero tolerance for speeding in school zones where young children are making their way to school,” Taylor said in a news release. “Let me be as straightforward as I can; if you get a ticket for speeding in a school zone, you deserve it.”
The program has been in the works for several months, following up from a similar program implemented by York Region. Once the province approves it, the town plans to use the cameras and rotate them throughout the community to address speeding. Council has said speeding is the Number 1 complaint it receives.
The 14 locations chosen for the initial run, starting in 2024, will be:
- Ward 1: Stonehaven Avenue and Kingsmere Avenue
- Ward 2: Gorham Street and Srigley Street East
- Ward 3: Wayne Drive and Patterson Street
- Ward 4: Longford Drive and Bristol Road East
- Ward 5: Queen Street and William Roe Boulevard
- Ward 6: Savage Road and Clearmeadow Boulevard
- Ward 7: Woodspring East and Woodspring West
The staff report said the chosen sites are based on speed data, traffic volumes and collisions.
Taylor said the cameras will be "a game changer” and municipalities across the GTA are looking at installing them.
“We want something to be done. This council made a strategic priority to address safe streets,” Taylor said to council, adding that previous efforts “combined cannot produce what ASE (automated speed enforcement) will produce.”
But some residents not included in the initial wave hope to see cameras. Resident Rex Taylor presented to council Sept. 11 and requested Lorne Avenue be given consideration. The newly redone street had its speed limit reduced to 30 km/h, but Rex Taylor said that has not been enough. The street has a downhill slope going toward Stuart Scott Public School.
“There are still vehicles, quite a few of them, travelling well above the limit,” he said, asking a camera be put near the school as soon as possible.
The town has not yet gathered updated traffic data on Lorne Avenue. But the cameras can be moved, with signage posted 90 days in advance that they will be coming, after which the signs will say the cameras are now in use.
The town will issue fines through the town’s administrative monetary penalty system. There will be monetary penalties, but demerit points and licence suspensions will not happen. The town said funds gathered will pay for the program's cost, with additional funds going toward further traffic calming measures.
“Please drive within the posted speed limit, and you won’t get ticketed,” the mayor said.