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)

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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read