The B.C. government has confirmed it is now testing technology capable of issuing automated speeding tickets, but it isn’t being used to fine speeders quite yet.
Officials with the province announced in May that the government would be outfitting 35 of the 140 intersections in the Intersection Safety Camera program with tech able to automatically
send a ticket to the registered owner of a speeding vehicle.
The government has revealed the location of the 35 traffic cameras, but has not disclosed the speed threshold that will trigger automated enforcement.
In an email update on Tuesday, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General said the technology won’t be in operation until later this summer, but confirmed “equipment testing at ISC speed sites is ongoing.”
According to the government, the ISC program reported an average of 10,500 vehicles a year going at least 30 km/h over the posted speed limit.
“We have a record number of crashes happening – more than 900 a day in our province – and about 60 per cent of the crashes on our roads are at intersections,” Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said back in May.
Opponents say the program is effectively bringing back the days of the controversial photo radar technology, even though the government isn’t using that term to describe the initiative.
“You can put any kind of lipstick on a pig. It is photo radar. It is de facto convictions that are sent in the mail after the fact to the owners of vehicles, placing the onus on the owner to prove innocence versus the state to prove guilt,” said Ian Tootill, one of the founders of Sense BC.
Sense BC fought against photo radar in the 1990s, eventually helping get rid of it when it gathered more than 25,000 signatures in a petition.
Tootill said drivers will react in the same manner this time as well.