Coming Fall 2020
To increase road safety, Hamilton has signed on to be one of the participating municipalities to implement Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) technology in designated school and community safety zones.
ASE is an automated system that uses a camera and a speed measurement device to enforce speed limits. The ASE tool, when used in collaboration with other methods such as engineering, education and enforcement is used to help improve road user safety by increasing speed compliance, altering driver behaviour and increasing public awareness about the critical need to slow down in designated school zones and community safety zones.
Automated Speed Enforcement is proven to effectively enforce speed limits, increase driver awareness and decrease injuries and fatalities as a result of motor vehicle collisions in other Canadian provinces and countries around the world.
On January 13, 2020, Council directed staff to initiate a one-year automated speed enforcement pilot program to be used in designated school zones and community safety zones through the City of Hamilton. The program supports the City of Hamilton Vision Zero Action Plan and the principles of Vision Zero to reduce speeds and overall injuries as a result of motor vehicle collisions.
As early as September 2020, ASE technology will be deployed in designated school zones and community safety zones across Hamilton.
What is Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE)?
ASE, also referred to as an automated system that uses a camera and a speed measurement device to enforce speed limits, is a speed enforcement tool that uses technology to help make roads safer for all road users. An ASE system captures and records images of vehicles travelling in excess of the posted speed limit in school zones and community safety zones with tickets issued to the registered plate holder regardless of who was driving. This will result in a monetary fine, but no demerit points will be applied.
Where is ASE being implemented?
The Highway Traffic Act only authorizes the use of ASE in school zones and community safety zones.
What is a school zone?
A school zone is an area of road in close proximity to a school. School zones are designated by by-law passed by municipal councils as described in the Highway Traffic Act. Typically, school zones have reduced speed limits that are put into effect, either by time of day or 24/7, within 150 metres in front of a school.
What is a community safety zone?
A community safety zone is an area designated through a by-law passed by a municipal council to identify it as a road segment of higher risk or concern. Certain Highway Traffic Act fines (including speeding) are doubled in community safety zones and many community safety zones are located close to schools.
Why are municipalities choosing to implement ASE?
In May 2017, Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act was amended to introduce the use of ASE in municipalities to address ongoing issues with speeding in school zones and community safety zones.
Operating speeds within school zones are typically lower than other road segments, however, the risks are much higher. Speeding around schools puts the lives of our most vulnerable people at unnecessary risk and ASE is designed to slow drivers down and keep our neighbourhoods safe.
Is ASE a mandatory program for municipalities?
No. Each municipality in Ontario is determining, based on the needs of its community, whether to implement ASE. Many municipalities are moving ahead with this new speed enforcement tool because they have identified it is an efficient and effective tool to help reduce speed in school zones and community safety zones.
How will municipalities decide where to place the cameras?
Municipalities are taking a data-driven approach to identifying where to place ASE in their communities. Municipalities across Ontario capture speed data in their communities on a regular basis and this data is now being used to identify exactly where speed is a factor in road and pedestrian safety in school zones and community safety zones, and where ASE can be implemented to help make a difference for those municipalities who choose to implement it.
Why don’t municipalities use other measures to enforce speed limits in school zones and community safety zones?
ASE is one of many speed enforcement methods that is used, along with engineering activities, education initiatives and police enforcement, to increase safety in areas with vulnerable populations such as school zones and community safety zones.
Why is ASE being used instead of traditional enforcement?
While traditional enforcement will still be used, ASE is a complementary method that enables police officers to focus on other critical and time-sensitive tasks. Through ASE, incidents of speeding can be detected on an ongoing and consistent basis, ensuring that school children and other road users always feel safe, not just during traffic blitzes. Using ASE consistently also lends to altering driver behaviour for ongoing road safety.
How will drivers know that a location is equipped with ASE?
ASE is about safety and transparency and clear signage will be posted within each school zone and community safety zone where a system is in place and active. There will also be signs installed prior to the issuance of tickets to let motorists know that these systems will be installed in the near future.
Are threshold speeds being disclosed?
No. As speed limits are not guidelines – they are the law – there is no need to disclose threshold speeds. Driving at the posted limit will ensure a ticket is not issued.
How accurate is an ASE system when detecting speed?
ASE is just as accurate at detecting speed as traditional speed measurement devices used by police.
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