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

One of the Cariboo’s greatest unsolved mysteries featured in The National

Journalists investigate bombing of Flight 21 more than 50 years ago

Quesnel figure skater places second in Terrace

Beverley Smetaniuk scored a personal best

Public input welcomed for freshwater fishing regulations

Feedback must be provided to the Province by Jan. 11

WEB POLL: At what temperature to you start plugging in your car?

Take this week’s reader poll and see local results

Letter: If you’re going to pull Baby It’s Cold Outside, pull these songs too

B.C. resident Bernie Smith points to other offensive holiday tunes

CRD to hold byelection for Area F

Conrad Turcotte who won the seat in the Oct. 20 election has been unable to take his oath of office due to illness

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

One of Tori Stafford’s killers transferred to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Most Read