Springwater accelerates automated speed enforcement

When it comes to automated speed enforcement (ASE) in Springwater Township, council has put the pedal to the metal.

At its recent regular meeting, council left little doubt about its desire to combat speeders and make the township as safe as possible.

After approving the use of bollards as a traffic-calming measure in various locations around the township a month ago, Springwater council doubled down on road safety and approved moving forward with an ASE program that would target speeders in community safety zones and school zones.

“I’d like to propose an amendment that we move ahead with the option that sees us get the cameras, not pay for them and take a lower percentage of the revenue,” said Coun. Phil Fisher. “My rationale is I don’t think we got into this to get revenue off cameras.

"We’re just trying to improve safety in the community and I think that’s the most cost-effective way to go about it.”

In his report to council, Dan Eberhardt, the township's senior engineering technician, provided detailed information on the process Springwater would have to follow and the costs it might expect to incur when it introduces an ASE program.

Eberhardt provided council with three potential ASE vendors — LAS, City of Toronto and Global Traffic Group — including their costs and the services.

LAS is the business services arm of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). LAS co-ordinates all aspects of the ASE operation and will supply the cameras, and complete the ticket processing and delivery. There are no up-front costs associated with LAS.

There is a monthly rate to lease the cameras, between $2,400 and $4,400, depending on the length of contract. Operating costs are determined by the number of incidents reviewed and violations issued. The estimated cost ranges from $22 to $25 per ticket issued.

The City of Toronto employs a Joint Municipal Processing Centre in which municipalities are able to partner with the City of Toronto for ticket processing. The centre reviews photos, assists with warning letters (both pre and/or post legislation), and processes evidence, issues tickets and prepares evidence to be used in court proceedings for ASE matters

There is also a one-time start-up cost, which is split equally among all municipalities. When new municipalities join the program, those who have already paid are credited their proportion. The total cost is approximately $917,000 and is currently divided among 16 municipalities.

The cost for the most recent municipality to join was around $57,000.

The MTO also charges a cost — $1.06 per request — for access to the licence-plate data and it is paid directly to the ministry. There is also a daily rate for the systems and a one-time installation cost, which depends on whether the township plans to use mobile or permanent systems. Additionally, there will be internal costs such as staffing, court costs and other administrative costs.

Operating costs are shared among the partnering municipalities and are primarily determined by the number of incidents reviewed and violations issued. The estimated cost will be about $20 per ticket issued.

Global Traffic Group (Global) is a Canadian-owned and -operated company.

All operating costs will be borne by Global and there is no up-front cost.

“The costing depends on how many cameras,” Eberhardt said. “They’re not permanently fixed, so we can move them around when we like. They could be in one location for three months and then we could move them somewhere else for another three months, as long as we have the signs and everything else in place.”

The following locations have been identified as community safety zones in Springwater Township:

The following locations have been identified as school zones within the township:

Springwater staff will now prepare a report that will investigate and report back on a revenue-sharing model.

Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,