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

The Burns Lake RCMP is investigating the incident. (Phil McLachlan photo)
Fatal collision between a pedestrian and train near Burns Lake

Police say the investigation is still ongoing

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

(Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidimt'en Territory Facebook screenshot)
Ceremony a right at proposed CGL pipeline drill site: BC Union of Indian Chiefs

Indigenous land defenders cannot be criminalized and targeted, argues UBCIC

(File graphic)
Man dies in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh) after being taken into police custody

IIO and BC Corners Service conducting independent investigations

Dan Stuart (Christian Heritage Party - BC photo)
Strong values underpin Christian Heritage Party candidate

He’s also suspicious of the COVID-19 pandemic

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read