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How Does it Work?

Procedure in case of an offence

  1. A photo radar device or a red light camera detects a vehicle speeding or running a red light.
  2. The device takes a series of photos of the vehicle and the licence plate. The following data appears on the photos: location, date, time, licence plate number, position of the vehicle, and the vehicle speed or the colour of the traffic light, as applicable.
  3. The photos are encrypted to ensure confidentiality, and are automatically sent to the evidence processing center (CTP), which is under the responsibility of Sûreté du Québec.
  4. At the CTP, a peace officer makes sure that all the key elements of the offence have been collected.
  5. If the information is complete, the law enforcement officer identifies the vehicle owner using the licence plate number, blue-pencils the interior of the vehicle in the photograph and writes a general offence report. If some elements are missing, no follow-up is made.
  6. The offence report is sent electronically, using a secured site, to the Bureau des infractions et amendes (BIA) of the ministère de la Justice.
  7. The BIA delivers a statement of offence based on the general offence report on behalf of the prosecutor, the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP), and sends it to the vehicle owner. The BIA also ensures that the statement of offence is served in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Penal Procedure and the phases of the judicial process.

Anyone who receives a statement of offence must send a plea of guilty or not guilty within 30 days after the statement of offence was served, to the location indicated on the statement. The person can contest the offence by entering a plea of not guilty. In that case, the BIA forwards the case to the Court of Québec.

Under the Highway Safety Code, no demerit points will be added to the driving record of the offender (defendant) when the offence was detected by a photo radar device or a red light camera. The same applies to drivers and operators of heavy vehicles since June 6, 2012.

A vehicle owner who receives a statement of offence can:

  • identify the person driving at the time of the offence. To do so, the owner must fill in the appropriate form available on the website of the ministère de la Justice and send it to the BIA with a plea of not guilty, or
  • decide to enter a plea of guilty and pay the fine, the fees and the contribution claimed. The file is closed and the judicial process is completed.

Time frame for receiving a statement of offence

The Highway Safety Code specifies that the statement of offence must be sent to the owner within 30 days after the date of the offence at the most recent address entered in the registration records of the vehicle concerned. The date of the postmark will confirm the date of transmittal.

Photo radars phishing scam

Please note that  statements of offence in connection with photo radars or red light cameras are never sent by e-mail. Please ignore any e-mail message asking you to pay an on-line fine.

 

Types of Devices

In Québec, three types of devices are used:

  • Stationary photo radar devices
  • Mobile photo radar devices
  • Red light cameras

During fall 2015, new red light cameras that also control vehicle speed will be added.

Stationary Photo Radar devices

Stationary photo radar devices are installed along public roads. They measure the speed of a vehicle and take photographs when the vehicle exceeds the prescribed speed.

The photos are encrypted and automatically sent to the evidence processing centre. An offence report is produced only when the law enforcement officer can confirm an offence was committed.

Mobile photo radar devices

Mobile photo radar devices - installed in vans

Mobile photo radar devices are installed in vans operated by officers of the Sûreté du Québec and municipal police forces. They can be moved from one site to another.

They measure speed and take photographs of vehicles exceeding the prescribed speed.

The photos are encrypted and automatically sent to the evidence processing centre. An offence report is produced only when the law enforcement officer can confirm an offence was committed.

The new model of mobile photo radar devices, which will be implemented as of fall 2015, can be removed from the van and installed along the road on a tripod.

Mobile photo radar devices– mounted on a trailer

This is a new type of mobile photo radar devices, which will be operated as of fall 2015.

These mobile photo radar devices are mounted on a trailer parked along a designated road. They do not require the constant presence of a police officer. The devices can be moved from one site to another. In addition, the devices are equipped with batteries, which extend their operating time.

They measure speed and take photographs of vehicles exceeding the prescribed speed.

The photos are encrypted and automatically sent to the evidence processing centre. An offence report is produced only when the law enforcement officer can confirm an offence was committed.

Red light cameras

Red light cameras are installed at intersections with traffic lights. They detect red light violations and take photos of the vehicles as they are running the red light.

The devices are positioned so as to give a general view of the intersection, and to show the traffic lights concerned, the stop line and the vehicle running the red light.

The photos are encrypted and automatically sent to the evidence processing centre. An offence report is produced only when the law enforcement officer can confirm an offence was committed.

Red light and speed control cameras

Those cameras combine the features of stationary photo radar devices and red light cameras. They are installed at intersections with traffic lights where they can detect red light violations and take photos of the vehicles as they are running the red light.

The red light and speed control cameras are positioned so as to give a general view of the intersection, including the traffic lights concerned, the stop line and the vehicle running the red light.

They also measure the speed of the vehicles and take photographs of vehicles exceeding the prescribed speed, regardless of the colour of the traffic light (red, amber or green).

The photos are encrypted and automatically sent to the evidence processing centre. An offence report is produced only when the law enforcement officer can confirm an offence was committed. Information on the presence of photo radar devices and red light cameras All public roads where photo radar devices or red light cameras can be installed are indicated by signs showing the "camera" pictograph.

Eventually, over 150 sites will be likely to be monitored by photo radar or red light cameras, not including school zones and road construction zones.

You can consult the sites where the devices are likely to be installed on the Québec 511 website.

Signs Used 

Signs for photo radar devices and red light cameras

All public roads where a photo radar device or a red light camera may be used are indicated with road signs showing the "camera" pictograph. Drivers will see at least one sign, regardless of where they come from.

Stationary devices

Indicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar deviceIndicates the presence of a stationary photo radar device

Indicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar device in that area of the cityIndicates the presence of a red light camera

Indicates the presence of a red light camera which also controls vehicle speed

Mobile devices

Indicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar deviceIndicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar device

Indicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar device in that area of the cityIndicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar device in that area of the city

Installed under a sign showing the "camera" pictograph, this tab sign indicates the length of the road section controlled by a mobile photo radar device

Installed under a sign showing the Installed under a sign showing the "camera" pictograph, this tab sign indicates the end of the road section controlled by a mobile photo radar device

Placé sous un panneau de signalisation arborant le pictogramme « appareil photo », ce panonceau indique la direction d’un segment de route où peut être utilisé un radar photo mobile 

Installed under a sign showing the "camera" pictograph, this tab sign indicates the end of the road section controlled by a mobile photo radar device

Road construction zone

Indicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar  Indicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radarmobileIndicates the possible presence of a mobile photo radar

School zone

Sign I-413-1 is installed between sign D-270-1, School Zone or School Crosswalk Ahead, and sign D-265, School Zone, without any prescribed distance between the signs. The driver is then informed of the possible presence of a photo radar device before entering the controlled school zone.

   

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