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Question – Red Light Camera Ticket

Question 1

Red Light Camera ticket was received early Aug/16. A request was mailed back to speak with a prosecutor by phone as I do not reside in Hamilton. Never heard anything further except the receipt of a notice to pay fine by a certain date. As the registered vehicle owner is it expected of me to pose as the person who was driving or would the prosecutor want to speak with the actual driver via a 3-way phone call. I cannot give legal and binding evidence based on he/she said when I wasn’t in the vehicle.


Thank you for your question.  The good news is this is only a monetary penalty.  It will not go on your driving record and there are no demerit points involved. 

Red Light Camera Tickets are written out to the owner of the vehicle.  When a vehicle goes through a red light, the camera takes a picture of the licence plate and sends a ticket to the registered owner. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure the fine gets paid.  When you speak with the prosecutor, you can say that you were not the person driving your vehicle that day.  You do not have to pose as the driver.  The ticket is in your name, as the owner of the vehicle, and you need to be the person who speaks to the prosecutor.  When someone takes the time to speak to the prosecutor about a Red Light Camera ticket, they will most often reduce the fine.  As I mentioned, there are no other penalties involved.  


Question 2

I received a red light ticket in the mail with a picture of my car going through an intersection in downtown Hamilton. I don’t know if it was myself or my wife driving that day. Can I really get charged if I wasn’t driving?


It sounds like you have not received an actual ‘ticket’ for failing to stop for a red light, but a “Red Light Camera System Offence Notice” under section 144 (18.1) of the Highway Traffic Act.

(18.1) (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.

Hamilton, Ontario has a system of cameras at various intersections that will photograph vehicles passing through the intersection without properly stopping. You are correct in your concern about who was driving the vehicle, and who should be convicted of an offence. Because red light cameras only show the vehicle being driven, but do not provide proper identification of the driver of that vehicle, the notice that you received is likely just a notice of fine to you as the owner of the vehicle (and not necessarily as the driver of the vehicle). If so, there would be no record of the incident added to your driving history after paying the fine. Once paid, it should simply go away without further cause for concern.

However, I would certainly be willing to speak with you to review the document to provide more definitive and accurate information. Without seeing the specific document for review, any information provided should not be taken as legal advice or direction. I would be happy to review your paperwork with you to be on the safe side in avoiding any problems in the future for you. We offer a no cost, no obligation initial consultation and I will likely only need 5 to 10 minutes with you to provide more clarity. I can be reached via our toll-free number 1-866-810-6243 or at 

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