New traffic cameras could bring licence plate reading tech to Brampton

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Published March 22, 2023 at 1:46 pm

More traffic cameras will be coming to Brampton streets this year and could have some high-tech features to help police keep the community safe.

Earlier this month Brampton City Council approved some $1,376,000 in funding for new high-resolution traffic cameras, upgrades to camera systems at 20 locations in Brampton as well as another 20 cameras at specific intersections earmarked by Peel Regional Police.

The City already has 50 Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems equipped with a camera and speed measurement technology to enforce speed limits, but City staff and Council have been eying new systems that have a 360-degree camera, video recording capabilities, and AI connectivity to Peel Regional Police.

The new cameras would be set up at intersections to help in police investigations and to deter dangerous driving, the City says.

Staff said the City had initially considered cameras with license plate and face recognition systems but those features came with a significantly higher price tag. Staff have been directed to report back with the costs of getting the new cameras up and running and to report back on how much it would cost to include licence plate readers.

Coun. Michael Palleschi said it’s important that the City’s ASE and traffic camera systems are “revenue neutral” and funding comes from the City’s capital budget to avoid impacting residents’ tax bills.

“We don’t want to be seen making money, this isn’t a cash grab,” Palleschi said during budget deliberations on March 9, adding that new cameras could help police investigate vehicle-related incidents like collisions and carjackings.

Back in 2020, the City approved installing ASE systems at 200 locations in Brampton to reduce speeding and traffic-related incidents but so far only 50 are up and running.

Council has asked staff to report back on the funding required to bring 100 additional ASE cameras online in community safety zones, and a City spokesperson confirmed that staff are still awaiting direction from Council.

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