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.”

Just Posted

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

Trail Curling Club set for BC senior championships

Volunteers step up for BC Senior Curling championships at Trail Curling Club

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read