Photo radars at the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel | Twice as many fines, but still many accidents

The addition of a second mobile photo radar in the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel has doubled the number of fines imposed at this location. But more than a year after the implementation of this surveillance measure, the number of accidents still continues to increase around the mega-construction site.

In March alone, more than 6,700 fines were issued by the devices installed along the A25 mega-construction site, for a total amount of 2.4 million. The majority of these fines were distributed by the new device added last winter heading north.

This toll is significantly higher than last fall, when less than 3,000 motorists were fined on average each month. At the time, only one device monitored traffic on the site, heading south towards Longueuil.

You should know that over the past year, the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel construction site has become the most lucrative sector for photo radars. No less than 42,214 motorists have received a ticket at this location since February 2023, for a total of 17 million, data from the Ministry of Justice reveals.

Despite increased surveillance by photo radar, the number of accidents has not decreased.

In the first three months of 2024, the Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility (MTMD) recorded 34 accidents on Highway 25 in both directions, for the sector located between the Beaubien exit and the entrance or exit of the tunnel, on the Montreal side.

At the beginning of 2023, the Ministry had mentioned to The Press around “twenty collisions” for the period of January and February, but this only included the southbound direction. This is nevertheless a marked increase from one year to the next. “When there is no traffic in the evening, people go too fast. And as there are workers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, safety issues are very present,” explained MTMD spokesperson Gilles Payer.

Speed ​​drop

The presence of the devices nevertheless seems to have an effect on the speed of motorists. Indeed, the average value of fines imposed has decreased considerably in recent months. In March, the average fine was $359. This is significantly less than in 2023, a year during which the average in this regard hovered around $440.

The drop in the average fine seems to indicate that motorists are taking their foot off the pedal more and more, even if the speed problem remains very acute in the tunnel.

At the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), we are delighted that photo radar is helping to change behavior. “The objective of this was precisely to modify the behavior of motorists so that they reduce their speed, so it’s perfect if it has an effect in that sense. Positioning a human resource to achieve this goal would have been difficult to achieve, if not even impossible,” explains Ann Mathieu, spokesperson for the SQ.

The fact remains that the fines given by the A25 construction site radars remain very high compared to other mobile devices, for which the average fine amounts to $174. The reason is twofold: the speed has been reduced in this motorway sector from 70 to 50 km/h during the work, and the amount of fines is doubled in a construction zone.

More radars, more impact?

Last fall, during the unveiling of the National Road Safety Strategy, the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, announced that she wanted to rely more and more on photo radars to try to slow down traffic. Since then, the minister has set a target: reaching 250 photo radars by 2028.

“This is an effective and proven way to improve safety on our roads and discourage reckless behavior, particularly in certain places where the risk is higher and where police work cannot be done safely, such as in the La Fontaine tunnel”, indicates in turn the minister’s office.

Quebec recalls having already launched a call for interests to “receive information on the best technologies available in the world”.

According to our information, the government is considering purchasing more modern radars, which can take a photo of a car in two places on a road, then calculate its average speed based on the time it took to move between the two. This would prevent cars from slowing down until they approach a speed camera, before speeding off again.

So far, there are around fifty photo radars in Quebec: 30 which are fixed and more than 20 which are mobile. The latter can in particular be placed in school or “accident-prone” zones. In Montreal, barely ten radars are used, while in Toronto, for comparison, there are already 75. Montreal also demanded in February to be able to regain control over the radars, in order to determine their number and their location.

With Pierre-André Normandin, The Press

The story so far

October 31, 2022: Three out of six lanes of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel are closed for a period of several years, until 2025-2026.

January 2023: Concerned by the speed of motorists on the construction site, Quebec installed a photo radar on the construction site, heading south.

March 2023: Barely established, photo radar becomes the most lucrative in Quebec.

January 2024: The Department for Transport is adding another northbound photo radar, which will help double the number of fines issued to road users.

Learn more

  • 75 million
    Photo radars brought in nearly $75 million in 2023, significantly more than the $63 million collected in 2022. In the first three months of 2024, they generated around $21.5 million in the coffers of the government of Quebec, of which 7.2 million comes from the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel.


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