Nova Scotia

Red light cameras not worth it for Halifax right now, report says

A report to be reviewed by Halifax's transportation committee on Monday states provincial legislation as it exists wouldn't allow the municipality to issue tickets.

Report says provincial legislation "inadequate" for municipality to use images to issue tickets

Red light cameras are not likely in Halifax until the province changes the rules around ticketing for traffic offences. (CBC )

Halifax is allowed to install red light cameras to capture traffic violations, but provincial law says the pictures wouldn't carry enough weight to issue someone a traffic ticket.

That's according to a report that is scheduled to be reviewed at the municipality's transportation committee. The review was supposed to take place Monday, but has been pushed to March. 

The report, submitted by Halifax's transportation and public works department, says the idea of red light cameras is to "supplement police resources and positively alter driver behaviors."

They work by capturing an image of a vehicle that has entered an intersection on a red light.

The report states provincial legislation is "currently inadequate" for Halifax to use images captured from a red light camera for the purpose of issuing tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Under the Act, the report notes, tickets for violating rules like stopping at a red light or speeding can only be issued to the person driving the vehicle and not the registered owner of the vehicle.

The report noted the province passed a bill in 2007 to permit the use of red light cameras and "provide that the images arising therefrom can be used as evidence for the purpose of issuing tickets to and prosecuting the registered owner of the offending vehicle rather than the driver."

According to the legislation, the owner of the vehicle would have to prove in court they were not driving and that no other person was driving the vehicle with the owner's consent.

Amendments never became law

But even though it's been 12 years since those amendments were passed, the report notes they have never been proclaimed into law.

About a year ago, the province announced it would be developing the Traffic Safety Act to replace the Motor Vehicle Act.

The report noted municipal staff asked that the new Act allow red light cameras to be used to issue fines.

The province passed the Act in October 2018, but it hasn't been proclaimed into law.

The report states "there is little value in implementing red light cameras and electronic speed detection devices" in Halifax until that Act becomes law.

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