Red light cameras could catch speeders, too

Five red light cameras in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

You might not just be ticketed for running a red light in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, you soon could be slammed for speeding, as well.

The province, this year, will be upgrading red light cameras at some of the fastest, most dangerous intersections in B.C. so they can also do speed enforcement.

It’s not certain yet which intersections will get the speed enforcement, but there are already five intersections in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows that have red light cameras and at least one them might be a candidate for speed enforcement.

According to ICBC stats, the intersection at Lougheed Highway and Harris Road has an average of 108 crashes per year, based on stats from between 2009 and 2013.

That’s almost one every three days.

According to a release from Public Safety and Solicitor General, the provincial average for each red-light camera intersection is 84 crashes.

The next most-dangerous intersection in the area that has a red-light camera is Lougheed Highway and Maple Meadows Way, with an average of 75 crashes per year.

Next most: Lougheed Highway and Old Dewdney Trunk Road, 70 crashes per year; Lougheed Highway and 203rd Street, 69 crashes per year; Lougheed Highway and 207th Street, 46 crashes per year.

According to the ministry, speed is a top factor in crashes, with an average of 10,500 vehicles going at least 30 km/h over the posted speed limit at each red light camera.

In the next few months, crash and speed data will be analyzed to determine which cameras will be upgraded for speed enforcement. Signs will warn approaching drivers once the cameras are updated.

The tactic is more transparent than the photo radar program that ended in 2001, the ministry said. Photo radar used unmarked vans in random locations, issued tickets at low speeds and tied up police resources with two officers staffing each van.

“There is very little public sympathy for those who flout the law and speed excessively through known, high-crash intersections. The signs will be there to warn you. If you ignore them and put others in danger, you will be ticketed,” said Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

Automated speed enforcement is used in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec. In Quebec, pilot testing resulted in a 12 km/h reduction in average speed, a 99-per-cent reduction in excessive speeding and a 20- to 30-per-cent reduction in crashes.

Red light tickets currently received in the mail are issued to the owner of the vehicle. If someone else was driving, it’s possible to nominate another driver and have the ticket moved to their name.

 

Five red-light cameras watching motorists in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. (Contributed)

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