Intersection cameras now operate around the clock at 140 high-accident locations in B.C., and have the ability to issue speeding tickets by mail with images like this. (ICBC)

B.C. communities call for highway speed camera pilot project

‘Not photo radar’ proposed for Coquihalla, Sea to Sky, Malahat

Local politicians have endorsed the idea of “point-to-point” speed enforcement cameras on three B.C. highways to reduce speeding and crashes.

One of those locations is the Sea to Sky Highway from North Vancouver to Whistler, where municipal officials are gathered this week for their annual convention. The others are the Coquihalla Highway and the Malahat Drive on Vancouver Island.

Lions Bay Mayor Karl Buhr sponsored the motion, noting that Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth is “quite receptive” to the idea. Automatic cameras would capture licence plates and mail tickets to the vehicle owner if the average speed over a monitored stretch of highway is excessive.

The highway to Whistler is a notorious speed zone with three times the fatalities and twice the property damage of other roads, Buhr said.

“Average speed-to-distance technology, some call it point-to-point technology, is not photo radar,” Buhr said. “It’s not the gotcha that we’ve been used to in B.C. This is in fact a fair and controlled approach to governing speeds in safety corridors for all drivers, all the time.

“It works where it’s been applied, Australia, many countries in Western Europe, and in Scotland, where after an initial teething period, the rate of compliance is around 95 per cent.”

Not everyone was supportive.

“This is not the gotcha of photo radar,” said North Cowichan Coun. Al Siebring. “It’s a different kind of gotcha, but it’s based on the same principle.

“They take a picture of your licence plate when you enter the zone, and a picture of your licence plate when you leave the zone. And the assumption is that registered owner is driving the vehicle, which is the problem with photo radar.”

Farnworth is already considering another kind of “not photo radar” using intersection cameras. By August, all 140 intersection cameras at high-risk intersections in B.C. have been upgraded to operate 24 hours a day. The upgrades include the ability to measure speed as well as detect running red lights.

RELATED: B.C. red-light cameras now live around the clock

A report is due this fall on the threshold for an intersection speeding ticket, after analysis of speeding and crash data.

“Enforcement will focus on the fastest vehicles at these locations, whether they are passing through on a green, yellow or red light,” Farnworth’s ministry said in an August statement. “What we do know is thousands of vehicles are going through at more than 30 km/h over the speed limit throughout the year.”

BC legislatureUBCM

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford veteran survives cancer scare, celebrates 95th birthday

Second World War veteran Andy Anderson receives socially distanced birthday party after health scare

Bank robber who was on the lam receives three years in jail

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Abbotsford, Sidney and Vancouver

UPDATE: Abbotsford high school killer back in court for ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing

Gabriel Klein was previously convicted of stabbing Letisha Reimer to death

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

Missing Chilliwack man not seen for eight days

Bruce James Madill last known location was on Paula Crescent on Sept. 16

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

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

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read