Picture from an automated red light camera in Vancouver shows grey truck running the red light. Registered owners receive a series of pictures in the mail, including a close-up of their licence plate. (ICBC)

B.C. NDP quizzed on automated ‘photo radar 2.0’

Municipal ticket revenue won’t be reduced, Mike Farnworth says

B.C.’s network of intersection cameras will soon be issuing speeding tickets as well as those for running red lights, but Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth insists it’s not a return to photo radar or a “cash grab.”

Farnworth has been quizzed in the B.C. legislature about the plan to expand the use of the cameras that generate tickets with photographic evidence, mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. He has not commented yet about the timing or extent of the conversion, or the speed threshold for issuing additional tickets.

There are currently 140 automatic red-light cameras in B.C., located mostly in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island. There are a few cameras in the Okanagan and one in Prince George, operated by ICBC at identified high-crash intersections.

B.C. Liberal critic Todd Stone asked Farnworth about the notice given to the Union of B.C. Municipalities that the formula for ticket revenue sharing is being renegotiated. Since 2005, local governments have received the fine revenue from all traffic tickets issued within their borders, to help pay their policing costs.

“They well know that there are changes in terms of how red-light cameras are going to operate,” Farnworth told the legislature Tuesday. “We want to discuss with them where that additional revenue goes. We have indicated to them that there will be no change in the amount of revenue that they will continue to receive.”

Stone, transportation minister in the previous B.C. Liberal government, calls the new system “photo radar 2.0”. He said in an interview Farnworth is trying to avoid admitting a return to the “boondoggle of the ’90s” that was the NDP government’s unpopular program.

“This is modernized photo radar, in that it’s not a police officer sitting in a van at the bottom of a steep hill somewhere, but it is a re-implementation of photo radar,” Stone said. “What you see where red light cameras and photo radar have been implemented is either a flat level of collisions or an increase. And you see a significant year-over-year increase, typically, in revenues generated by the technology.”

Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, a former RCMP officer, also asked Farnworth about the government’s revenue intentions.

“Frankly, I hope there’s no increase in revenue, because what we want is people to start paying attention, to start driving safely,” Farnworth replied.

Just Posted

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

MARS Wildlife Rescue offers some tips on keeping hummingbird feeders clean

Mould from dirty hummingbird feeders can be fatal

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Northern Health Authority expands medical bus use

Over 60 or have mobility challenges? You can now travel on Northern Connections.

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Independent schools continue to top Fraser Institute secondary school list

Think tank says its ratings are fair to all schools, public and private

Former Somali child refugee fights to stay in Canada

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi’s judicial review set for today in Halifax

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

AFN chief accused of being too close to Trudeau

Perry Bellegarde insists he is not that close to the Liberals as elections looms

Three injured after industrial explosion in Newfoundland

The roof of the warehouse was blown off in the explosion near St. John’s

Ottawa Senators trade Mike Hoffman, less than a week after allegations involving partner

Following the trade Senators make no mention of allegations against Hoffman’s partner

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Most Read