How Canadians Feel About Traffic Enforcement

This archived article is from June 2003. Although every effort has been made to make sure the information presented is accurate, please note that it may contain information that is out-of-date.

Decima teleVox interviewed 2,033 adult Canadians between August 14 and 28, 2003. When speaking nationally, these results are accurate to within +/-2.2 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.

A. Traditional Traffic Enforcement

Most Canadians are satisfied with the general level of traffic enforcement by police, but a significant minority think more is needed.

A majority of 55 per cent of Canadians think the general level of traditional traffic enforcement by police, including roadside checks, radar, speed traps, and visibility of police in their community, is about right. A significant minority, 35 per cent, think there is not enough enforcement. Few (nine per cent) think there is too much enforcement.

Traditional Traffic Enforcement

Not enough

35 %

About right

55%

Too much

9 %

Depends

1 %

DK/NA

2% 

Thinking about the general level of traditional traffic enforcement by police, including roadside checks, radar, speed traps, and visibility of police in your community, would you say that the level of enforcement is...

Majorities in most regional and demographic groups are satisfied with the general level of traffic enforcement by police. Residents of British Columbia are most inclined to think there is not enough enforcement (42 per cent). Quebeckers are more likely than average to think there is too much enforcement (10 per cent).

Women and those age 55 and older are more inclined to think there is not enough enforcement. Those age 18 to 24 are more likely than average to think there is too much enforcement. However, even among this group, a majority are satisfied with the level of enforcement.

B. Support for Electronic Enforcement Techniques

Majorities support the use of red light cameras and photo radar.

Canadians were informed that electronic enforcement involves using cameras instead of police to identify vehicles that speed or run red lights. The owner of the vehicle is fined but no points are assigned to anyone's driving record.

When asked whether they support various forms of electronic traffic enforcement, Canadians express high levels of support for the use of electronic traffic enforcement techniques, such as red light cameras and photo radar. They are especially enthusiastic about the use of photo radar in school zones and the use of red light cameras; they express less enthusiastic support for the use of photo radar on highways.

More than eight in ten Canadians (84 per cent) support the use of photo radar to identify vehicles that break the speed limit in school zones. Just 15 per cent are opposed. Moreover, six times more people (62 per cent) strongly support photo radar in school zones, compared to those who strongly oppose (10 per cent).

Photo Radar in School Zones

Strongly support

62%

Somewhat support

22 %

Somewhat oppose

6%

Strongly oppose

10 %

DK/NA

1% 

Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose using photo radar to identify vehicles that break the speed limit in school zones?

Over three-quarters of Canadians (78 per cent) support the use of cameras to identify vehicles that go through intersections after the traffic light has turned red. Only two in ten (21 per cent) are opposed to the use of red light cameras. Moreover, the number who are strongly supportive (52 per cent) is more than four times that who are strongly opposed (12 per cent).

Red Light Cameras

Strongly support

52%

Somewhat support

26 %

Somewhat oppose

9%

Strongly oppose

12%

DK/NA

1% 

Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose using cameras to identify vehicles that go through intersections after the traffic light has turned red?

Two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) support the use of photo radar to identify vehicles that break the speed limit on the highway. One-third (33 per cent) are opposed. Moreover, the proportion who strongly support (36 per cent) is almost twice that who strongly oppose (19 per cent).

Photo Radar on Highways

Strongly support

36%

Somewhat support

30%

Somewhat oppose

14%

Strongly oppose

19%

Neither support / oppose 1%

1%

DK/NA

1% 

Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose using photo radar to identify vehicles that break the speed limit on the highway?

Over two-thirds of Canadians believe signs should be posted where electronic enforcement may be in effect. Support for the use of signs is higher among the demographic groups with lower support for photo enforcement.

Warning Signs

Should be posted

68%

Should not be posted

31%

DK/NA

1% 

When these types of electronic enforcement measures are used, do you think there should, or should not, be warning signs posted to advise motorists of their presence?

Majorities in all regional and demographic groups express overall support for electronic traffic enforcement. Women, Canadians age 55 and older, homemakers and Anglophones are more likely than average to strongly support the use of the various forms of photo enforcement.