Intersection cameras operate around the clock at 140 high-accident locations in B.C., and 15 of them now have the ability to issue speeding tickets by mail with a picture like this one showing the infraction. (ICBC)

B.C. to activate more intersection speed cameras in 2020

‘Not photo radar’ system mails thousands of tickets

You get a speeding ticket mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle, but the B.C. government would prefer if you don’t call it photo radar.

B.C. now has 15 intersection cameras set up to produce speeding tickets as well as red-light violations, and another 20 cameras at high-crash locations are to be activated for speeding by the spring of 2020. The program started last summer, mostly in Metro Vancouver, but cameras activated for 24-hour speed enforcement are now up and running in Vernon, Kelowna, Kamloops, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission, Surrey, Pitt Meadows, Victoria, Duncan, Courtenay and Nanaimo.

An additional five locations are scheduled to go live for speed enforcement on Jan. 6, the public safety ministry confirmed to Black Press. They include one at 96 Ave. and 132 Street in Surrey, and four more locations in Vancouver. Signs are placed to notify drivers when the intersection is equipped with red light cameras, and when they are activated for speed enforcement as well.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth won’t say how far over the speed limit the cameras are set to issue tickets, but he indicated last summer it is aimed at the most dangerous offenders. The ministry says there are no plans to go beyond 35 high-risk intersections “at this time.”

The ministry has released its first statistics on the speed cameras that were activated initially. It shows that from July to September, five cameras issued 2,370 tickets for speeding, with the highest speed recorded being 174 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. More data are to be posted in early 2020.

There are a total of 140 intersection cameras operating around B.C., most still set to operate for red light violations only. They issued 23,883 tickets in the same three-month period.

RELATED: Red-light camera tickets surge after 2011 introduction

RELATED: Communities call for speed cameras on Malahat, Coquihalla

The use of speed cameras is part of a broad effort by the NDP government and the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to rein in rising accident rates and claim costs that have pushed ICBC into huge deficits. Other measures include a cap on minor injury payouts, a dispute tribunal to keep smaller actions out of court and an overhaul of ICBC rates to shift the risk to individual drivers.


@tomfletcherbc
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