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Vandalized speed-trap cameras cleaned, repaired quickly

The city has reported several cases of vandalism in relation to their six automated speed enforcement cameras, but pledged not to let it deter what they consider a program that has seen early successes
Since they went live in March, Frustrated area residents have deployed all manner of things —such as placing a microwave oven on top — to disable the six automated speed enforcement cameras installed recently throughout the City of Greater Sudbury.

Tipping them over, prying them open, covering them with eggs, garbage bags, duct tape, shaving cream, spray paint, and ... placing a microwave on one of them, for some reason.

Frustrated area residents have deployed all manner of things to disable the six automated speed enforcement cameras installed recently throughout the City of Greater Sudbury.

In every case to date, they’ve been repaired fairly quickly, city Linear Infrastructure Services director Joe Rocca told

Image: Social media

The vendor has been “pretty prompt” in cleaning and repairing the devices, he said, adding that it’s the city’s expectation they will continue to be repaired soon after each case of vandalization.

Area residents began egging the cameras early last month, even before they were turned on. 

Since that time, the city has received reports of several other cases of vandalism, including a garbage bag taped over one, shaving cream sprayed on another, and a microwave placed on one.

Rocca said someone else would need to explain the microwave, which he doesn’t understand.

These cases have been throughout the city, though at least two affected the camera on Main Street in Val Caron.

Image: Social media

“It’s been pretty minor at this point, but we were anticipating some vandalism to happen,” Rocca said. “It has happened in every municipality where these cameras are deployed. It’s something the vendors are ready for and know how to deal with, and they've been fairly prompt at getting them cleaned back up, and back up and running.”

In Essa Township, their first speed camera was installed on a wooden pole, which a vandal cut through with a chainsaw earlier this year. In Guelph, vandals tipped over a unit, spray painted another and broke one unit’s window glass. Similar reports came out of Niagara Region, where several speed cameras were vandalized in various ways.

Repairs are baked into the city’s lease agreement, and don’t carry additional cost to the municipality, Rocca said.

Whether they’re down for cleaning/repairs or functional, he said the cameras are having their desired impact.

Image: Social media

“We’re seeing people slow down,” he said. “The overwhelming feedback staff have been receiving is that people are slowing down in the area of the cameras, so they're doing their job.”

As reported last month, various jurisdictions which use speed-trap cameras have found they successfully slowed traffic not only while they were in place, but afterward as well, albeit to a lesser degree when tickets for speeding were no longer a threat.

“The most important message is, people are slowing down for the cameras, whether they’ve been vandalized or not, and that is the end goal,” Rocca said. 

“We’re less concerned about the fine revenue, it’s about getting people to slow down in those areas.”

Photos of the vandals’ work have been making the rounds on social media to a largely supportive audience, though some people have been critical of their actions.

“As someone who spent 14 years seeing the results of MVAs and how many that never make the paper, are life altering, this just bothers me,” one commenter said, adding that most “accidents” are preventable, and speed is a recurrent factor.


In 2021, speeding or driving too fast was a contributing factor in 24.7 per cent of fatal motor vehicle incidents, according to Transport Canada.

Greater Sudbury’s six automated speed enforcement cameras are relocated every four months, with the new locations updated on the city’s website and shared via social media. 

Issues with these cameras can be reported to the city's customer service line at 311.

The inaugural six locations became operational on March 22, and are as follows:

  • Bellevue Avenue (between Picard Street and Ralph Street)
  • Algonquin Road (between Maurice Street and Field Street)
  • Falconbridge Road (between Donnelly Drive and Church Street)
  • Main Street, Val Caron (between Justin Street and MR 80)
  • Hillcrest Drive (between Brian Street and Mikkola Road)
  • Gary Avenue (between Lasalle Boulevard and Madison Avenue)

In mid-July, the cameras will be relocated to:

  • Garson Coniston Road (between Maki Street and Falconbridge Road)
  • Howey Drive (between Somerset Street and Downing Street)
  • Bancroft Drive (between Bellevue Avenue and Kingsway)
  • Moonlight Avenue (between Claude Street and Gagne Street)
  • Bancroft Drive (between Hazelton Drive and Estelle Street)
  • M.R. 80 - McCrea Heights (between Robin Avenue and Hubert Street)

The city has declined to share what the speed threshold for tickets will be, but offered three fine examples on their website:

  • 5 km/h over posted limit = $40
  • 15 km/h over posted limit = $95
  • 25 km/h over posted limit = $170

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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