Toronto Installed More Automated Speed Cameras, and People Are Pissed

The cameras have lately been the target of hardcore vandalism, including being spray painted and tipped over.

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A Canadian speed camera warning sign.
Photo: jojoo64 (Getty Images)

Automated traffic enforcement in the form of red light cameras and especially speed cameras is a pretty contentious topic. Advocates argue that cameras can save lives and reduce collisions by reducing overall road speeds. Everyone else just hates them, but perhaps not as much as the people of fair Toronto, Ontario.

According to a report published Wednesday by BlogTo, Torontonians are pushing back against new speed cameras – sometimes literally. The city of Toronto announced its plans to install upwards of 25 more speed cameras around town two weeks ago, and already the heshers of the greater Toronto area are at work spray painting, tipping over and otherwise rendering the cameras useless.

New automated speed cameras coming to Toronto neighbourhoods

What is behind this rage? Could it be the healthcare system, excellent local punk music, Timbits or even simple seasonal affective disorder? More likely is people’s dislike of surveillance and paying fines. The most prolific camera in Toronto has allegedly collected upwards of 20,000 Loonies worth of fines (or 10,000 Toonies) and so is regularly the target of vandalism.


Is this pushback from the populace likely to change the city’s mind on speed enforcement strategies? No, probably not. Cities like to be seen to be doing something about things like this, and they also want the money that this kind of enforcement can bring in.

Will the people of Toronto chill the hell out and let the cameras do their thing? Also, likely no. So what’s the solution here? I don’t know if there is one.


What do you think, feral commenters? Should our friends in the Great White North have a dart and chill before going out for a rip? Or should the city once run by Rob Ford ease off and find other ways to increase road safety?