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.

Just Posted

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

Saanich Peninsula 100+ Women Who Care donate $17,000 for centre serving seniors

Mount Newton Centre programs support seniors, caregivers

Crown to appeal acquittal of Victoria masseur accused of sexual assault

BC Prosecution Service review of the ruling found ‘the judgment revealed errors of fact and law’

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read