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Automated speed camera issued 6,000 tickets in four months in Newmarket

Town, region preparing to expand programs after pilot brought down speeds 10 km/h where cameras were used
A York Region speed camera featured in a promotional video.

The first four-month foray into automated speed enforcement in Newmarket led to more than 6,000 tickets collected — with a value exceeding $600,000.

York Region and Newmarket are preparing to ramp up automated speed enforcement starting next year. This comes after York piloted a program between 2021 and 2023, rotating cameras throughout the region. 

York stationed a camera at Mulock Drive by Newmarket High School for four months, issuing more than 6,000 tickets there. The region said the program has generally reduced speeds by about 10 km/h wherever speed cameras are active.

“York Region continues to take action to increase road safety and protect vulnerable road users,” York corridor control and safety manager Nelson Costa said. “Lower operating speeds promote a safer environment for all road users and allows motorists time to react to unexpected and changing conditions.”

The two-year pilot program’s successes have prompted York and Newmarket to increase the use of automated speeding cameras. Newmarket is planning to implement cameras at 14 locations around schools next year. After running with five cameras rotating throughout the community, York Region intends to up the program to include 60 additional cameras between 2024 and 2026.

The York pilot cameras rotated throughout the municipalities. In the four months between 2021 and 2023 it was positioned in Newmarket, there was an average fine of more than $100. The highest record speed in front of Newmarket High was over 110 km/hr during school hours in the 50 km/hr speed zone.

“Automated speed enforcement has been shown to influence driver behaviour to help decrease speeding and increase pedestrian and cyclist safety,” Costa said.

Newmarket council approved automated speed enforcement this year. Mayor John Taylor has previously said speeding is the number one complaint council receives.

“Newmarket has zero tolerance for speeding in school zones where young children are making their way to school,” Taylor said in a September 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 York program costs about $750,000 annually, before the upcoming expansion. The region said the pilot program expenses are recovered, and that should also be possible for an expanded program. The region expects adding 60 speed cameras and 15 red-light cameras to bring the annual program cost to $5 million. 

Newmarket is still conducting financial analysis and forecast as it prepares to launch the program but is in the process of making its 2024 budget. However, in a report in January, Newmarket staff estimated the program could bring about $2 million in net income from the program per year. 

York is currently developing a traveller safety plan, an action plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities, which will incorporate automated speed enforcement.