Photo radar - now has a new name and it is coming to Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 7th, 2020

Whitby, ON –


Officially it is known as ASE – Automated Speed Enforcement. Photo radar to the rest of us.

The NDP government brought it in in 1993.

Mike Harris killed it within a week of taking office.

The Ford government brought it back but for use just in school zones.

The Ontario Traffic Council (OTC) today announced its support for and endorsement of the program via the launch of Driving Safer Communities, a campaign to raise awareness of the use of ASE to reduce speeds in school zones and Community Safety Zones where the posted speed limit is under 80 kmph.

Photo radar sign

Coming to a street near you.

Over the past two and a half years, the OTC has worked alongside its participating municipalities as well as the Ministry of Transportation to develop a transparent, consistent and sustainable ASE program that is designed to change driver behaviour in order to increase speed compliance in school zones and community safety zones. With the regulation giving Ontario’s municipalities the ability to adopt new and enhanced tools such as ASE to promote road safety in these designated areas, Ontarians can expect to see ASE systems deployed across the province as early as this spring.

The Driving Safer Communities campaign, comprised of a microsite at, including a comprehensive list of FAQs, is designed to ensure the public is well educated about the benefits of this important speed reduction tool and how vehicle owners may be affected. In addition, the OTC has launched a campaign Facebook page at @ASEONT to provide the public with access to a platform for engaging in important dialogue about road safety.

An automated system that uses a camera and a speed measurement device, ASE is one of many methods used – along with engineering activities, education initiatives and police enforcement – to enforce speed limits in areas with vulnerable populations. Participating municipalities will implement ASE technology via a data-driven approach that reflects information they have been capturing in their own communities including the exposure of vulnerable road users in relation to vehicles; prior collisions; zone environment such as the location of schools, bridges, bicycle paths, etc.; speed data; public input; and enforcement input with this data used to identify locations where speed is a factor in road and pedestrian safety.

For example, 2018 data from the City of Toronto demonstrates that in just one week more than 50,000 drivers were identified going over the posted speed limit of 30 kmph along Rockcliffe Blvd, which is in a Community Safety Zone, with the maximum speed clocked at 156 kmph.  And 2019 data from Niagara Region shows the critical need to address speeding in school zones and Community Safety Zones with more than 25,000 and 100,000 drivers identified going over the posted speed limit of 50 kmph along Pelham and Montrose Roads, respectively.

“Despite speed being a contributing factor in approximately one third of fatal collisions across Canada, data being collected by municipalities across the province clearly demonstrates that vehicles are continuing to speed,” said Geoff Wilkinson, executive director, OTC. “On behalf of the OTC, and our members, we wholeheartedly endorse the province’s implementation of ASE, and to further support the program we have launched the Driving Safer Communities campaign to ensure Ontario residents are well informed about this safety tool as a proven method for enforcing the posted speed limits in school zones and community safety zones.”

Photo radar Toronto

This is what Toronto is using – might be the same type for Burlington.

Toronto, Ottawa, Brampton and Niagara Region will be the first of Ontario’s municipalities to implement ASE with several other municipalities also anticipated to follow in the coming months including Burlington, London, Durham Region, Mississauga, Peel Region and York Region, among others. Clear ASE signage will be posted everywhere ASE is placed including signs installed prior to the issuance of tickets to provide motorists with a warning that ASE systems will be coming to each specific location.

“With the most recent Ontario Road Safety Annual Report from the Ministry of Transportation showing that the number of people killed in Ontario in speed-related collisions increased by 13 per cent from 2015 to 2016, there is no better time for the launch of the OTC’s Driving Safer Communities campaign to raise awareness of ASE and support its use in locations where speed is a proven factor in road and pedestrian safety,” said Peter Sejrup, staff sergeant, Peterborough Police Service and director, OTC. “Ultimately, this is about safety and adhering to the posted speed limit is the law. We welcome ASE to Ontario’s school zones and Community Safety Zones as an effective way to improve road user safety.”

About the Ontario Traffic Council
The Ontario Traffic Council (OTC) is a leading voice in multi-modal transportation in Ontario, offering diverse expertise in traffic engineering, transportation planning, safety and traffic enforcement.    Established in 1950, the association was created to improve traffic management in Ontario by drawing on the knowledge and expertise of those in the field of enforcement, engineering and education.

Today, the organization promotes excellence in the multi-modal transportation field through education, guidance and sharing expertise supported by its members across Ontario regions, cities, towns, counties and industry businesses (consultants and vendors). Membership also includes individuals who have an interest in and responsibility for traffic and active transportation engineering, planning and road user safety including engineers, planners, police services, parking enforcement, other municipal staff and elected representatives.

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3 comments to Photo radar – now has a new name and it is coming to Burlington.

  • James

    I have no issue with photo radar in community safety zones, it makes sense, but the bigger problem is how Burlington has become a very frustrating city to drive in. All these attempts to slow down traffic aren’t helping, they’re only making matters worse and increasing the frustration level. The result, if people see a rare patch of clear asphalt in front of them, they gun it to make up lost time. I know I’ve been guilty of it on occasion. I’m not suggesting that’s a good thing, that’s just what’s happening. This city is in serious need of solutions to get people from Point A to Point B within a reasonable amount of time. Ticket speeders, of course, but also ticket those who drive well under the limit, block right turn lanes, try and trigger the advance left turn signals by idling well back of the intersection as if their time is more important than everyone else’s, and cyclists who get in the way on busy arterial roads. There should be bus pull-off lanes at every stop to get them out of the way so they don’t block moving traffic, proper cycling paths to get bikes off the busiest roads entirely, enhanced right turn lanes and other improvements. The question needs to be how do we get people moving again, not how can we frustrate traffic further.

  • Penny Hersh

    It’s about time. Burlington’s yellow “SLOW DOWN” lawn signs certainly changed nothing.