In all the cities I have lived in in Canada, I do not see a lot of traffic cameras in intersections. There seems to be only one or two in the intersections with the most traffic. That gets me thinking about why there isn't a law that requires traffic cameras to be installed in all intersections? The camera could be real or fake (Because people won't know the difference). There have been stories about people putting fake speed camera or even use a hair dryer to scare drivers into drive slowly and more carefully.

  • It almost sounds like you want to on Worldbuilding.SE and looking at social, legal and political consequences. In any case this calls for speculation and as such is off topic for this stack. Though as with any political decision, the risks are people don't like it and you don't get re-elected.
    – Jontia
    Feb 5, 2020 at 14:14
  • @Jonita — There is a valid political question here, though the wording could be better. I think he's asking why communities don't do this. Maybe if user39178 rewrote it to be more specific about his question? Feb 5, 2020 at 14:45
  • If you wrote a law that says "traffic cameras are required" then fake traffic cameras won't count, by the way. Otherwise the government could just pay for everything in Monopoly money. Feb 6, 2020 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


You may not be considering that red light cameras are not universally popular. And people have some pretty good reasons for not supporting them.

While it appears to be true that red light cameras decrease the amount of 'red light running', studies show that they don't seem to decrease accidents. People jerkily jamming on their breaks the moment the light turns yellow to avoid a potential ticket just creates a different unsafe condition.

It's been shown repeatedly that red light cameras are used as a revenue creation tool rather than promoting safety. Municipalities implementing red light cameras have repeatedly been caught also decreasing the length of yellow lights to catch people off guard and create more fines.

This despite the fact that studies show increasing the length of the yellow light can also substantially decreases red light running and accidents. And it does so in a much safer way, giving people time to react and stop appropriately instead of threatening them if they make a mistake.

Almost as if many people aren't just boldly blazing through cross-traffic, but are merely in the intersection before the light turned red, when there is no chance of an accident from cross-traffic that hasn't yet got the cue to move.

Then you have the issue of the burden of proof being moved from the state, to the individual. Now its your job to prove that you didn't run a red light. You can't face your accuser because your accuser is a machine. Someone will show up and claim that the privately developed closed source traffic machine doesn't make mistakes. Even though we know that they do.

But when you're just an innocent citizen, how do you defend yourself against that machine in court without hiring an expensive attorney?

So when you ask about political fallout, I can't speak to Canada specifically, but it's quite possible that the red light cameras would become wildly unpopular, as they have in some number of municipalities whose leaders embraced them.

  • 1
    Particularly viewing as a revenue source: since most people are middle or lower class, most drivers are as well. That means some people could view this as a regressive tax. Feb 5, 2020 at 17:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .