New West left out of project to punish leadfoots. That feels unfair

Chris Campbell

New Westminster has been left out of a new B.C. government program aimed at punishing speeders in intersections.

It’s that a good thing? Or is it unfair?

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The province announced on Tuesday that it has “tweaked” 35 intersection cameras in Metro Vancouver and other parts of B.C. to issue automated speeding tickets.

“Government has completed its analysis of speed and crash data for the 140 Intersection Safety Camera (ISC) program sites currently equipped with red-light cameras,” said a news release. “It has identified 35 with the greatest potential for further safety gains through automated speed enforcement. Beginning this summer, B.C. will install new warning signs and activate technology to ticket the registered owners of vehicles entering these intersections well over the posted limit on a red, yellow or green light.”

The communities surrounding New West, including Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam and Richmond all have intersections on the list so they will benefit from this tool.

I was surprised to not see the Canada Way-10th Avenue intersection camera on the list because it’s such a scary hellhole of an intersection, but it’s possible that camera is not equipped to be tweaked. Or maybe it’s because there’s usually so much congestion at that intersection that people can’t go over the speed limit even if they wanted to (that’s a joke…sort of).

The intersection of Canada Way and 10th Avenue. SCREENSHOT

So perhaps it’s good that New West doesn’t have an intersection bad enough to be on this list? Or maybe I’m stretching to find a positive?

It does seem a little unfair that New West won’t have this technology set up for at least one local intersection. I’d be happy if the province expanded this technology to punish speeders.   

B.C. police agencies issued 8% more tickets for excessive speeding in 2016-17 than in 2014-15 – I don’t know if that’s because speeding is getting worse or police are putting more of a focus on the issue.

"We have a record number of crashes happening - more than 900 a day in our province - and about 60% of the crashes on our roads are at intersections," said Mike Farnworth, minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a news release. "We've taken time to systematically pinpoint the locations linked to crashes and dangerous speeds that are best suited to safely catching, ticketing and changing the behaviours of those who cause carnage on B.C. roads."

Between 2012 and 2016, ISC sites in B.C. reported an average of 10,500 vehicles a year going at least 30 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit, as detected by red-light cameras, which also monitor vehicle speeds. Speed has been one of the top contributing factors in casualty crashes at these intersections, which have had a combined total of more than 11,500 collisions per year.

Here is the criteria the province says it used to select locations:

“For each location, key factors assessed to select Intersection Safety Camera sites for speed enforcement included:
* the prevalence and extremity of speeding;

* the record of fatal and severe injury crashes; and

* the potential to reduce collisions.

* Project engineers examined technical considerations in detail to confirm the feasibility of each of the 35 sites.”


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