A 2017 Lamborghini Aventador (right) and a 2016 McLaren 675H impounded for excessive speeding in Maple Ridge this summer. (RCMP photo)

B.C. VIEWS: ’Not photo radar’ coming soon to high-crash areas

ICBC deficit now largely due to reckless and distracted driving

On my way up to Whistler for the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention last week, I passed a tow truck heading down to Vancouver. It was carrying what looked like an orange Lamborghini Aventador with bad front-end damage.

This is one of your rich-kid supercars, worth somewhere in the high six figures if you have to ask. You may have heard about the 22-year-old Ferrari driver clocked at 210 km/h on the Lion’s Gate Bridge last year, or the kid who had his McLaren sports car impounded for a week, ’N’ sticker and all, after screaming through a B.C. school zone this past April.

At the annual gathering of provincial and local politicians, Lions Bay Mayor Karl Buhr got strong support for a motion calling for “point to point” speed enforcement cameras on the Sea to Sky Highway, as well as the Coquihalla and the Malahat Drive on Vancouver Island.

Buhr said the Sea to Sky sees three times the fatalities and twice the property damage of the average B.C. highway, despite the costly rebuild that preceded the 2010 Olympics. He has been pleading for more speed enforcement for years. At the convention, he met with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, describing him as “quite receptive” to the idea of this pilot project to deter the worst kind of speeding.

I don’t doubt that he is. Farnworth is about to activate the 140 intersection cameras around the province to issue speeding tickets, in addition to their original purpose, mailing out pictures and fines for those who run red lights.

“It’s not photo radar!” Farnworth growls through clenched teeth if you use the term that became notorious during the last B.C. NDP government.

Last time I checked, the ministry was crunching data to decide what the threshold for an intersection speeding ticket should be. I was told that even at 30 km/h over the limit, there would be plenty of B.C. drivers getting a nasty surprise in the mail. If it’s “excessive speeding,” more than 40 km/h over the limit, the fine is $368 plus three demerit points.

Automated speed cameras snap your licence plate as you enter a high-risk section of highway, snap it again as you leave, and calculate your average speed. If it’s above the threshold, a ticket is automatically mailed to the registered owner with time-stamped images, evidence that can’t be argued away.

RELATED: B.C. red-light cameras now live 24/7

Opponents point out that the problem with point-to-point is the same as the notorious photo radar vans that used to lurk along roadsides. It penalizes the vehicle owner, who may not have been driving.

I was not a fan of the old photo radar. The one ticket I got was on a deserted back road, on a Sunday afternoon, and I was 15 km/h over the limit. A nice revenue stream for the province, and a waste of police resources.

This is different, and I’m persuaded to agree with it. Once you get past the partisan grandstanding of Attorney General David Eby, you see that the red ink at ICBC is due to two things: lawyers exploiting minor injuries, and a soaring accident rate on B.C. roads despite vehicles and highways that get safer every year.

Eby did deal with the lawyers, capping “pain and suffering” claims and giving priority back to severely injured and disabled people. Now he and Farnworth have to deal with the distracted, the stoned and the speeders.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

HISTORY: How did Mission cope with the Spanish flu

In 1918, a different world-wide pandemic was being dealt with

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry hails work done to halt outbreak, which saw more than 130 people contract COVID-19

Man who broke into Abbotsford post office receives four more months in jail

Gary Patrick Richard sentenced for break-in and mail theft from April 20

Chilliwack teachers and EAs concerned with health and safety plans

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Police say Chilliwack driver who flipped car on overpass Sunday was impaired

Witnesses say rollover incident was preceded by vehicle and motorcycles speeding all over town

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read