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

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Castlegar house fire

The fire has since spread to an adjacent property

Zoning hearing scheduled for major Castlegar housing development

Phase two of Twin Rivers Estates needs a zoning change before moving forward

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

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

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read