PLEASE NOTE: OTD LEGAL DOES NOT PROVIDE PHOTO RADAR SPEEDING TICKET DEFENCE
Automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras, commonly called “Photo Radar Cameras” are designed to minimize speeding and maximize safety. Due to this, they are frequently located in low-speed areas such as Community Safety Zones near schools, hospitals, or shopping centers. A Photo Radar Camera is active 24/7 and captures images of vehicles travelling over the posted speed limit. The images are then reviewed by Provincial Offence Officers before being issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. The registered owner of the vehicle will receive the ticket, regardless of if they were driving during the incident, as cameras are unable to identify the driver. Because no identity is made, there are also no demerit points associated with ticket, the ticket will not appear on your driving record, and it will not affect your insurance. If a vehicle is travelling at a high rate of speed (50 km/hr over the posted speed limit), instead of receiving a ticket with a fine amount on it, the registered owner will receive a summons to appear in court to assess the fine amount.
So, what happens when you receive an ASE ticket in the mail? When you receive a Photo Radar ticket in the mail you will typically have 15 days from the “deemed date of service” to respond, either by paying the ticket or disputing it. The total payable amount includes a Set Fine under Schedule D of the Provincial Offences Act, a victim fine surcharge, and applicable court costs. Do not pay the ticket if you plan to dispute it. Instructions on how to proceed will be indicated on the ticket, either on the bottom of the paperwork or enclosed on a separate piece of paper.
There Are Three Options If You’ve Received A Photo Radar Speeding Ticket
Appear before a Justice of the Peace, plead not guilty, and go to trial.
Early Resolution Option
Meet with a Prosecutor to discuss lowering the fine. You do not forgo the right to a trial by choosing this option. Since the fine is the only penalty associated with an ASE charge, this option probably makes the most sense to most drivers.
Guilty Plea Option
Pay the fine as is.
IMPORTANT: If you choose to ask the Prosecutor for a lower fine, you must plead guilty to the charge to accept the lower fine. If you present a defence to the charge, the Court may reject your guilty plea and push you to go to trial. The only other option at that point would be to pay the full fine amount. Your conversation with the Prosecutor should focus on how the fine would have a negative financial impact on you.
If no response is made within 15 days, the ticket will be deemed undisputed, and you will be found guilty of the offence by default. If the fine associated with the ticket is not paid by the due date (usually 15 days after conviction), shortly thereafter, the following penalties could occur:
- License Plate – You will not be able to renew you license plate until the ticket is paid.
- Late Fees – If you are late paying an ASE ticket, an administrative fee will be added to the fine amount.
- Credit Score – Unpaid fines could be sent to collections by your local municipality and affect your credit rating.
If you receive a Summons to appear in court, you must attend the court on the date and time provided on the Notice. You can, at that time, speak to the Prosecutor about lowering the rate of speed, thus lowering the associated fine. If this is agreed upon, you will have to enter a guilty plea to the amended rate of speed. You can also ask for more time to pay the fine, if required. Despite your attendance at court in front of a Justice of the Peace, the conviction will not appear on your driving record.
The penalties for Photo Radar tickets are limited to a monetary penalty with no insurance increase or demerit points. For this reason, we do not offer our services to fight these tickets.
If you have been charged with Speeding by a Police Officer however, you will likely receive demerit points and the conviction will appear on your driving record. At higher rates of speed, you could even face a vehicle impoundment, license suspension, possible jail time, and receive a Summons to appear in court. This would cause a significant insurance rate increase. We offer a free, no obligation consultation so you know what penalties you are facing. The first step is to send us a copy of your traffic ticket for one of our experienced paralegals to review.