Skip to content

'Good riddance': Speed camera vandalized in Newmarket

Vandalism comes as more speeding cameras about to be installed in community
A speed camera on Bathurst Street in Newmarket was vandalized last week.

The Regional Municipality of York is addressing vandalism after someone spray-painted a speed enforcement camera on Bathurst Street in Newmarket.

Residents first noticed the vandalism last week, with black spray paint placed over a lens on the camera next to St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School. The incident has led to hundreds of comments across social media, with debate about the automated cameras.

Nelson Costa, York Region manager of corridor control and safety, road operations, said he is aware of the vandalism, however, costs associated with repair are the responsibility of the camera vendors. 

“Vandalism and damage to property is a crime and individuals can be charged with a fine upon conviction,” Costa said, adding that automated speed enforcement “is an important safety tool to encourage motorists to comply with speed limits in school zones and community safety zones.”

Area municipalities are supporting more automated speed enforcement to address concerns about speeding. York Region has had rotating cameras in the place for a couple of years, and the Town of Newmarket is about to implement a series of automated speed cameras on local streets this summer.

However, polling indicates that Newmarket residents are split on the use of automated speed cameras. While some see the need to address speeding, particularly in school and community safety zones where municipalities tend to place the cameras, other residents have said the fines are too strict or are a cash grab.

“Someone finally spray-painted the speed camera on Bathurst. Good riddance,” one resident posted on local Reddit, prompting plenty of pushback.

Costa said that camera vandalism is random and does not happen very often. 

Meanwhile, the Town of Newmarket has installed signs on different streets warning that speed cameras will soon be in place.

Commissioner of corporate services Esther Armchuk said the program will be phased in, with cameras to come into place from mid-June to August and all cameras to get activated by the beginning of the school year in September. Before activation, there will be a warning letter period to give drivers a chance to alter their habits.

  • 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 Avenue East and Woodspring Avenue West

“Newmarket streets will be even safer this upcoming school year with the use of automated speed cameras in community safety zones where children frequent,” Newmarket Mayor John Taylor said. “I am very pleased to have observed that people are already reducing their speeds significantly as a result of the warning signs and upcoming enforcement. Our goal is not to issue tickets or punish drivers. Our goal is to educate and provide sufficient warning so that people drive slower and children and pedestrians are safer.

“If you don’t want a ticket — don’t speed; it’s that simple,” he added.

York Region encourages residents to submit problems with its speed cameras, with a location and photos, to [email protected], or call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75000. You can also report damage/mischief to property online to York Regional Police.