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

Just Posted

Developers go back to drawing board after high-rise application deferred by Parksville council

IAG Developments has proposed a multi-building development on city’s waterfront

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: People experiencing homelessness unlucky

Poverty, illness and marginalization don’t equate to decrepitude, says letter writer

Nanaimo Timbermen in five-way tie for first place

Senior A lacrosse team has a home game Saturday, July 20

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers reach tentative three-year deal

Union membership to vote on collective agreement on July 31

Advocates for now-closed Nanaimo soup kitchen ask for city’s help

Wisteria Community Association’s Stone Soup shut down following eviction of owners this week

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Nanaimo mom says she will go to court to try to get allegedly abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown says her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Dormant Chemainus Foods building to be revived with new market

Initiative expected to bring new life to the community’s downtown core

Local artist explores Nanaimo’s old Chinatown in new video installation

Charlotte Zhang among eight artists in Nanaimo Art Gallery’s ‘Estuary’ exhibition starting this week

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Most Read