“Speed & red light camera” signs have been installed at the intersection of 152nd Street and 64th Avenue. The intersection is one of several in the province slated for upgrades to technology that will include automatic ticketing for drivers speeding through red, yellow or green lights. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Driving

Province activates speed camera in Surrey

Five cameras launched in the Lower Mainland, 30 others will be phased in by spring 2020

The first of eight speed cameras in Surrey and North Delta were activated this week – and they will ticket speeding drivers, even when going through a green light.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General said Monday (July 29) that five of the 35 previously announced speed cameras have now been activated in the Lower Mainland.

In Surrey, an intersection safety camera (ISC) is now operational at 152nd Street at King George Boulevard.

READ ALSO: Province activates speed cameras at five B.C. intersections, July 30, 2019

The four other activated cameras include two in Vancouver (Granville Street at W King Edward Avenue and Kingsway at Victoria Drive), one in Burnaby (Kingsway at Boundary Road) and one in Pitt Meadows (Lougheed Highway at Old Dewdney Trunk Road).

Each of the upgraded ISC locations will include “new, prominent signs have been installed to warn approaching drivers about the enhanced intersection speed enforcement.”

“If you drive like a normal person, you won’t get a ticket. Drive like a self-entitled jerk, you’ll get a ticket,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, on Monday. “So if the danger to yourself and others, or the big warning signs are not enough of a deterrent, we hope that the tickets will be and that everybody will be safer with the result of these cameras going in.”

The upgraded cameras, according to the ministry will “capture the images of the fastest vehicles passing through monitored intersections of red, yellow and green lights.”

The images and data will then be “further reviewed” by ISC officers, “who will verify the information and confirm that a charge can be laid under the Motor Vehicle Act.”

However, the provincial government still hasn’t announced what the speed threshold will be.

Farnworth said the registered owner of the alleged speeding vehicle will get a ticket “in a matter of days.”

“If you fly through on a red light, you’ll get two tickets — one for each offense.”

In July, the ministry began testing the cameras in several intersections, including 152nd Street at 96th Avenue. Signs and the camera were also installed at 64th Avenue at 152nd Street.

The ministry says the additional 30 cameras will be phased in by spring 2020.

READ ALSO: Province starts testing speed cameras in Surrey intersection, July 9, 2019

READ ALSO: Cameras will ticket speeding drivers at seven Surrey intersections – even if light is green, May 7, 2019

In May, the provincial government announced that 35 safety intersection cameras would be “tweaked to slow the worst leadfoots.”

The eight Surrey/North Delta intersections are:

z 128th Street at 88th Avenue

z 152nd Street at 96th Avenue

z 152nd Street at King George Boulevard

z 64th Avenue at 152nd Street

z 96th Avenue at 132nd Street

z King George Boulevard at 104th Avenue

z King George Boulevard at 80th Avenue

z Nordel Way at 84th Avenue

When the upgraded cameras were announced, Farnworth said that to “discourage high speeds” at the location, government and police wouldn’t be disclosing the speed threshold that will trigger the new cameras.

The ministry says this is “consistent with every other Canadian jurisdiction using automated speed enforcement,” but added that depending on continued monitoring of the ISC program and evaluation of road safety outcomes, “this threshold may change in the future.”

Previously, criminal defence lawyer Sarah Leamon said she thinks it will be “inevitable” that someone will challenge a ticket in court.

On Monday, Farnworth said the provincial government’s lawyers have gone through the legislation and are “confident” it will stand up to any legal challenges.

However, Farnworth said, “Any time there is a change in terms of enforcement, whether it’s for speeding or alcohol or drugs, there will always be a legal challenge.

The ministry says the government has completed its analysis of speed and crash data for the 140 Intersection Safety Camera program sites that are currently equipped with red-light cameras.

Of the 140 intersections, 35 were identified as having “the greatest potential for further safety gains through automated speed enforcement.”

READ ALSO: Surrey RCMP reveal top-10 worst intersections for crashes, June 12, 2019

On average, according to the ministry, the ISC program intersections have 84 crashes each year.

Between 2012 and 2016, according to the ministry, the ISC sites “reported an average of 10,500 vehicles a year going at least 30 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit, as detected by red-light cameras.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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