|Capital Coun. David Chernusheno chats with Ontario Transportation Minister Glen Murray at Ottawa City Hall Monday, March 18, 2012 after the province announced changes to help municipalities go after out-of-province motorists who get caught by red light cameras. (JON WILLING/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA — Legislation will be introduced this week that would put an end to out-of-province motorists knowing they can blast through Ontario intersections without receiving red light camera tickets.
Ontario Transportation Minister Glen Murray announced Monday the government will help cities go after these motorists who break traffic laws and collect other unpaid fines.
"It is $100 million a year in lost revenue to municipalities, which could be going into our police and into our paramedic services and into those critical first responders who have to deal with the consequences of people driving improperly and speeding," Murray said during a press conference at City Hall.
Ottawa-Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi has been pushing for the legislation and Ottawa city council has demanded changes to help ticket drivers from across the Ottawa River.
Quebec-plated vehicles have been skirting red light camera tickets because of provincial restrictions.
Up until now, police or bylaw officers would have to go to court to testify on those tickets, where tickets for Ontario motorists are expedited through the courts.
The proposed legislation will apply the "streamlined" system to the out-of-province tickets, Naqvi said.
Between 2010 and 2011, cameras in Ottawa caught more more than 4,000 cases of possible red-light running by non-Ontario vehicles. The city didn't collect any of those fines.
The province is also cracking down on all motorists who have outstanding traffic fines, such as speeding tickets.
Under the proposed legislation, drivers with unpaid fines won't be able to receive new plates or renew existing ones.
There are about $1 billion in unpaid fines from Highway Traffic Act and other road-related laws.