Red light cameras will soon catch speeders in B.C. (BCCC)

ROAD SAFETY

B.C. upgrades red light cameras to catch speeders

Province calls move more transparent than photo radar

The province is upgrading red light cameras in an effort to catch speeders on B.C. roads.

It will spend the next several months analyzing crash and speed data at the 140 intersections where it has red light cameras before deciding which ones to equip with vehicle identifying equipment.

According to the province, the move is more transparent than photo radar, which Attorney General David Eby called photo radar a “non starter” at a press conference last summer.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth emphatically denied that the change is a move towards photo radar. He said the change requires a hardware upgrade to the existing cameras, and data collection to measure the problem of people speeding to get through a light that is changing to red.

Once that study is complete, the intersection camera system will be able to issue speeding tickets as well as those for running a red light, Farnworth said. A threshold of excessive speeding will be chosen to trigger the additional ticket, he said.

“What we’re concerned about is people who go through red lights,” Farnworth said. “I’ve been up to an intersection many times and the light will turn yellow, and then one, two, sometimes three cars will go through, and they’re going through the red light.

“And we know that’s where the worst accidents happen, at intersections. That’s where pedestrians get hit far too often.”

The photo radar program ended in 2001 and the province said that the unmarked vans, staffed with two police officers each, issued speeding tickets at “low speeding thresholds” and used up too many police resources.

Four other provinces already use red light cameras: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.

An Ernst & Young report released last summer said that activating more red light cameras to catch speeders could save ICBC $3 million.

Expanding the program to 240 cameras would net savings of $13.5 million and enabling the cameras to catch those speeding through green lights could save $89 million.

The auto insurer has been under fire in recent months for a projected $1.3 billion deficit.

The report also noted that “proven automated speed enforcement technologies” would create “immediate improvement.”

An analysis of 28 automated speed enforcement studies found an at least 14 per cent reduction in crashes.

The province has not yet responded to a request for comment.

MAP: Red light cameras in B.C.

– with files from Tom Fletcher

Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

VIDEO: Sailing under the sun at the BC Games

Maple Bay in the Cowichan Valley was host to dozens of athletes sailing on small prams to planing dinghys

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

Wild fires blaze in the Okanagan, in your words

We have compiled a community photo album of your wildfire photos

Power couple speed into top spot at L’Alpe de Grand Blanc at Big White

The professional riders have been training all year

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Most Read