The cameras, most of them in the Lower Mainland, will clock the speed of each vehicle that goes through the intersection, even on a green light, and automatically send out a ticket to the vehicle’s registered owner should it be speeding. (Black Press Media file photo)

NDP defends new speed cameras coming to 35 intersections

Cameras will automatically send out a ticket to the vehicle’s registered owner should it be speeding

B.C.’s public safety minister is on the defense the day after his government announced plans to install speed cameras at 35 intersections around the province.

Mike Farnworth told reporters at the legislature on Wednesday that the goal of the program is safety, not revenue, and that speeding-ticket revenue currently goes to the municipal governments where they are collected.

“We have said we wanted to sit down with local governments and discuss it on a go-forward basis, with a guarantee that there would be no change in revenue for local government,” he added.

The cameras, most of them in the Lower Mainland, will clock the speed of each vehicle that goes through the intersection, even on a green light, and automatically send out a ticket to the vehicle’s registered owner should it be speeding.

READ MORE: Speed cameras to target leadfoots at 35 B.C. intersections

Ian Tootill, co-founder of Safety by Education Not Speed Enforcement BC, which advocates for drivers, said there’s no way around it — the cameras are a reincarnation of the much-hated photo radar enforcement program of the 1990s.

“These are now de facto convictions that are sent in the mail and the onus is now on the owner of the vehicle to somehow prove he or she might not be guilty and people are sometimes not guilty,” said Tootill, emphasizing that the system targets the vehicle owners and not necessarily whoever was speeding.

Farnworth restated his government has no plans to make public the speed threshold that triggers the camera, and neither does any other province.

“But we’ve been really clear. One, these intersections are online. Two, you guys have shown them on TV. Three, there are going to be signs, warning signs, telling you you are entering an intersection that’s got a camera.”

Tootill said withholding the threshold raises the question of the government lowering or raising it in the future.

“Once you get compliance at a certain level and the tickets just start to dribble in and the revenue flow stops, then you’ve got to figure out how to get more money out of it, so you just crank the threshold down or you mess with the timing on the light, which is common in the U.S.”

He believes the best way to discourage bad drivers is to have police officers catch them so that they can stop speeding right away.

“If somebody sends me a ticket in the mail two months later, I don’t remember what I did, it’s impossible for me to fight it.”

– with files from Tom Fletcher



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Rod and gun club president speaks up on gun ban

Chase said such a sweeping ban isn’t the right way to address the issue in a democratic country

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Blue River Community Garden celebrates construction of screened-in gazebo

Volunteer fire department donates time and expertise to the job

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read