To help change reckless driving behaviour Brampton will have 185 speed cameras throughout the city: could sky-high insurance rates finally drop? 

To help change reckless driving behaviour Brampton will have 185 speed cameras throughout the city: could sky-high insurance rates finally drop? 

Brampton is infamously known for bad driving, with frequent reports of speeding dangerously above road limits. 

Residents of the city have not only had to face the negative reputation some drivers create for their hometown, but they also struggle with their concerns over safety on Brampton’s roadways, both as pedestrians and drivers.

The city’s auto insurance payers are burdened with some of the highest rates in the country, commonly paying twice as much as residents in nearby municipalities. The frequency of car collisions at high speeds, which cause far more damage, is the biggest reason for the crippling insurance rates across Brampton. 

The average auto insurance fee in Brampton last year, using the same model car and driver profile across the province, was $2,707, according to RATESDOTCA (the highest in Ontario), compared with $2,325 in Toronto and an average across the province of $1,744–Brampton residents pay 55 percent more, on average, which residents have long complained about. But, according to RATESDOTCA, they only have each other to blame as the city sees far more claims due to poor driving, and much more expensive ones because of the high rates of speed involved in accidents. 

The issue has plagued the city for years, but little has changed in a municipality where cars rule and infrastructure does not centre the experience of pedestrians or those travelling through means other than a personal automobile. Investment in public transit and active modes of transportation has not changed car dependency.  

But monitoring speeds using municipal cameras, and enforcing violations may help change a driving culture that residents throughout the city complain about commonly. 

High profile cases, many of them tragic, have highlighted the alarming driving culture that has evolved due to a few factors. 

Brady Robertson was charged, convicted and sentenced after driving at least 135-kilometres an hour toward the intersection of Countryside Drive and Torbram Road where he killed a mother and her three daughters who were in a vehicle standing at a red light in 2020. His 17-year sentence was largely due to his intoxication from cannabis at the time, and because of the shocking disregard for human life while driving at twice the speed limit. 


The data show that slower speed limits result in fewer fatalities in the event of a collision.

(Vision Zero)


Startling videos like the one linked here are commonly posted online, showing the stunt driving and excessive speeding commonly seen in Brampton. 

Higher speed limits on City and Regional roads within Brampton, up to 80 km/h, are one reason critics have pointed to as a cause for the dangerous driving culture. A lack of enforcement and the popularity of street racing culture among younger drivers have also contributed to the problem, according to critics. 


Speed limits on regional roads in Peel.

(Region of Peel)


Brampton Council approved a staff report at a February 21 Committee of Council meeting requesting to begin two procurement processes to help curb the problem. They will lead to more speed cameras: one will select “a solution for the deployment of licence plate recognition cameras, 360-degree video cameras, and a video management platform for the initial 50 intersections and future requirements beyond the initial deployment”; and the other will choose a vendor who will provide 185 automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras and related software and services to the City. 

Brampton only has 50 ASE cameras whose infraction data is processed at Toronto’s Joint Processing Centre. According to another report which council approved at the same meeting, “processing limitations” are associated with the Toronto-based facility which “cause delays.”

“Brampton has decided to establish its own processing [centre], and may also build capacity to process images for other municipalities on a fee for service basis.” 

Through the City’s own procurement process, it will not only replace these existing 50 cameras leased through a contract with the Centre in Toronto, but will add 135 additional ones for a total of 185 to deploy throughout Brampton. 

“Almost every day, an accident is reported in Brampton,” resident Camille Prashad told The Pointer. She agrees with using signs warning of cameras to help deter speeding drivers. 

The approval of the other report means Council has accepted a budget amendment of $1,500,000 to cover costs of renovating the interior of 175 Sandalwood Parkway, the building which the City has acquired to accommodate its own ASE Processing Centre. The funding will go toward staff and operations and to carry out state of good repair work and security enhancements, among other things. Funding for this project will be sourced from Reserve accounts ($1,250,000 from Reserve #100-Legacy Fund and $250,000 from Reserve #4-Asset Repair and Replacement). The main objective of the facility will be to “help modify driver behaviour in reducing speeds on City roads,” according to the report. 

An existing building at 175 Sandalwood Parkway will accommodate the City’s own ASE Processing Centre. Its current 50 cameras were handled at a centre based in Toronto, which a staff report states has resulted in processing limitations and delays.

(Hafsa Ahmed/The Pointer)


The City is planning to have its ASE Processing Centre accommodated on the second floor of the 175 Sandalwood Parkway building which will be ready by the first of July this year. There will be 30 staff employed at the location, and future expansion would require capital budget investment, 

Renovations in 2024 will cost $320,000. The facility will also require funding to enhance the building’s security systems amounting to $330,000 in 2024, and state of good repair work the same year will cost $850,000. 

When asked if he feels the additional speed cameras will help make Brampton’s streets safer, resident John Ish Ishmael, said signs that warn of speed cameras “do help to deter reckless drivers.” 

There is some evidence to support this. A 2023 evaluation on the City of Toronto’s ASE program’s effectiveness found there was a 45 percent “reduction in the proportion of vehicles speeding near schools with the deployment of ASE after adjustments made for potential confounding factors such as road types, speed limits, city region and design.” It also found that the “percentage of drivers exceeding the speed limit decreased for nearly all sites during ASE deployment, with 36 exceptions (out of 204 locations where pre-ASE deployment data were available).” 

This is not the only approach to road safety municipalities can take. The report found the majority of higher speed limits and vehicle speeds occurred “around schools in Toronto’s suburbs, reflecting the prevalence of high-speed arterial roads in these areas.” This indicates the design and makeup of city roads is a factor in speeding. 

Efforts to reduce speeding on roads that focus on built environment and physical design of roadways are referred to as “traffic calming measures.” These often include implementing speed bumps or narrowing roads in order to force drivers to slow down in certain areas. An Elsevier research article titled Traffic calming measures and their effect on the variation of speed, states that lane narrowing was one of the traffic calming measures which resulted in “the best improvements” on lowering speed. It also states that radar speed cameras and their warning signs “need other traffic calming measures before and after them to keep that street calm.”

It explains that intersections which are “regulated by a roundabout or by a traffic light can be used as traffic calming measures but normal crosswalk and pedestrian pushbuttons signals don’t reduce the speed by themselves,” highlighting that the most optimal results occurred when more than one of the assessed traffic calming measures were used along the street and when the distance between them was not “too long.”

Brampton resident Angelina Carrara told The Pointer she believes speed bumps should be put wherever there is a school. She also thinks speed cameras are a good measure to put in place but feels that after they are relocated, “people go back to old habits of speeding.” 

“You will always have speeding problems unfortunately and we can’t put speed bumps everywhere, so the city will have to rely on the enforcement ticketing people.” She also raised that if speed cameras are more expensive, she thinks a more cost effective alternative could be installing digital radar speed signs. “[W]hen people have a visual of their speed, they do slow down.”

Christine Nykilchuk-Murphy told The Pointer she does not feel municipal cameras have worked in her neighbourhood. “Cars speed down our street [and] we live in a school zone,” she said, sharing that residents were told the cameras that used to be on the street “were set to record only during certain hours” adding that if those times are just set during school hours, then the City is not capturing those drivers who speed in the late afternoon or evening.

According to the staff report on the City’s planned Processing Centre, an ASE system is targeted to help enforce speed limits in school and community safety zones using a camera and a speed measurement device to photograph vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit in an ASE-enforced area. Those photos are “stored and reviewed” by a Provincial Offences Officer and “a ticket is mailed to the registered plate holder.”


ASE cameras aim to reduce speeding usually in school zones and community safety zones.

(City of Brampton/X). 


Nykilchuk-Murphy argued that speed cameras do not actually “stop people from speeding at all,” saying she has seen more speed bumps on certain roads which she thinks are “a better deterrent.”

She also raised the question of whether the City would consider a bigger budget for Brampton Transit in order to reduce car dependency, pointing out that certain bus routes “are very busy with overcrowded buses” and to provide public transit as an alternative to driving for more people there would need to be “buses running more often.”

“[A] bigger budget would be required by Brampton Transit[...] would they be given that?” Nykilchuk-Murphy questioned. 

Improving road safety can be as simple as reducing the number of cars on the road to reduce the potential number of speeding incidents, although this would mean providing alternative methods for residents to get around, a task that is not as simple, especially in cities that do not prioritize budgeting for public transportation. Brampton has seen unprecedented ridership, yet despite the demand there is not enough investment in Brampton Transit to meet the need. In his 2024 budget, mayor Patrick Brown cut the overall capital investment in the transit department ($135.9 million was forecasted for this year under the 2023 budget but only $91.9 million was approved in the 2024 budget). A third and long delayed transit storage and maintenance facility that has also been needed for years does not have enough funding in its budget for the “building construction portion” of the project, threatening to further compromise the ability to provide residents with sufficient transit services. 

Chris Drew, a former Brampton resident and transit advocate, told The Pointer he is “in favour of trying lots of different things to improve road safety.” He said that if staff at the City of Brampton “have provided evidence showing that ASE cameras work in Brampton and in other jurisdictions, then I say we should go for it,” but said this should be done at the same time as “investing in operational and capital funding for transit, and active transportation infrastructure which provides an incentive for people to choose to drive less if they already have a car.”

He shared that he is “always shocked at how selfish some people are in terms of speeding and being reckless,” and said not only are they putting their own lives at risk, but that “they are also putting everyone else's lives at risk.” He said when it comes to installing more speed cameras in the City, “if a small group of people want to act that way they better get ready for the consequences.”

An umbrella review published by Elsevier states that car dependency is “a concern for public health” and that “if drivers can be encouraged to change their travel behaviour and transition to more sustainable, less car dependent mobility patterns, there is the potential for a range of beneficial impacts...”. It highlights these benefits can include increased physical activity, more “liveable” cities and less noise and air pollution. 

It cautions that there is a challenge in shifting away from car dependency and states “it is imperative that effective interventions and policies are designed and implemented with the aim of reducing car use and supporting change of travel behaviour to more sustainable travel modes.”


Brampton’s suburban landscape creates car-dependency. Adequate investment in public transportation and infrastructure to support access and travel through alternative modes of transportation is also lacking, often making it difficult for residents to make a shift away from driving cars.

(The Pointer Files)

With the increase in planned speeding cameras which will inevitably result in the issuing of more tickets, there will also likely be an increase in the number of people who challenge those tickets in court. However, it is unclear how the City is planning to handle the potential rise in ticket challenges in its already strained court system without allocating additional resources toward its administrative services division. The Pointer asked the City if it plans to implement or add any further resources to handle the increased ticket challenges that will likely follow the expansion of speed cameras in the City, and if it will not, asked how it will handle a possible increase in ticket challenges or issues stemming from the expansion of ASE cameras in Brampton without additional resources. A City spokesperson referred to a media release in response to the inquiry, which did not include any information pertaining to the questions. 

The City is also expecting to generate revenue from the additional cameras. The staff report on the procurement for 185 ASE cameras states the City’s Processing Centre will “increase the number of hours ASE cameras can issue tickets and provide an increased revenue stream to help offset road safety initiatives geared to reducing fatal and major injury collisions on municipal roadways.”



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