Hergott: Reintroducing photo radar

Hergott: Reintroducing photo radar

The reintroduction of photo radar without talking about photo radar

“Lipstick on a pig”. That analogy for reintroducing photo radar without using the words “photo radar”, makes me smile.

I grew up on a mixed farm in Saskatchewan and pigs were a part of our small operation. They were “free range”, able to root around in pasture areas. Oh my goodness they’re sweet animals! And not just the brand new piglets.

Beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder, but I think they’re beautiful as they are. No need for lipstick. But it would be hilarious seeing someone try to apply it!

The analogy was used by Ian Tootill who, according to the SENSE BC website, co-founded a grass roots organization called SENSE (Safety by Education Not Speed Enforcement) in April, 1995. The organization was formed in response to an NDP / ICBC campaign promoting the planned introduction of photo radar in 1996.

According to their website, they fought the campaign “…by spreading the truth about a program that had little to do with safety, and in our opinion everything to do with fleecing motorists.”

They failed to block the NDP’s introduction of photo radar in 1996. But by the next election they had churned up enough public dissatisfaction that the BC Liberal party were able to leverage it into a winning campaign by promising to dismantle the program, which they did in 2001.

The program indeed fleeced motorists. According to a Globe and Mail article published in June, 2001, revenues from the previous year’s tickets, generated from thirty photo radar vans were expected to raise revenues of nearly $12 million.

If we’re worried about fleecing motorists, this go-around is dressing up a pig in a dress, pearls and high heels.

There are 140 red light cameras which have been automatically issuing tickets when drivers blow red lights. They are also equipped to monitor speed.

According to a Vancouver Sun article, an average of 10,500 vehicles per year blow through each of the 140 intersections at 30 or more kms/h above the posted speed limit.

The fine for going 30 kms/h over the posted limit is $196.00. The plan is to configure cameras at 35 of the intersections with the highest collision rates to automatically issue speeding tickets. If driving behaviours don’t change, that’s an average of $72 million per year of additional speeding ticket revenue.

Cha-Ching!

Is the government motivation a road safety one, to reduce speeds at these high risk intersections? Or is it to fleece motorists?

Unlike the previous photo radar piggy, with sneakily placed unmarked vans, this dressed up one will come with warnings. They will be putting up warning signs so speeders can temporarily become safe, law abiding citizens until passing through these intersections.

They will make money on only the most absent minded of lead footed drivers, i.e. those whose driving inattentiveness extends beyond failing to pay attention to their speed, to also failing to notice the warning signs.

And if those are the drivers who will be filling government coffers, I don’t really care about the government motivation. Perhaps a few tickets in the mail will increase their pathetic level of attentiveness.

In fact, I say they should convert the cameras at all 140 intersections.

Next week I’ll explain why they should also do away with the warning signs.

Missed last week’s column?

Hergott: Do you stop for ducks crossing the road?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

A search is underway for David Borden in Oyama, since he was last seen Wednesday, June 16. (Contributed)
UPDATE: Missing Lake Country man found

Family thanks Facebook community for sharing photo of missing man

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Kelowna Fire Department. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Abandonded campfire results in Kelowna bushfire

The fire was measured at 20 feet by 20 feet in size and has been deemed not suspicious in nature

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

The Shuswap River in Enderby draws in people from near and far in the summer months of each year. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
RDNO ends lengthy attempt to bring new boating regulations to Shuswap River

With no consensus among stakeholders or remaining funds, the regional district is moving on

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Most Read