Slow Your Roll

Watch that speedometer as you drive through certain intersections.

As of Monday, B.C.’s new automated speed cameras start to go live, with dozens eventually to be up and running by next spring at traffic signals right across the province.

The owner of a speeding vehicle will be ticketed if tagged by a new intersection camera, no matter what colour the signal.

“These are intersections that we recognize as high-collision locations and there is support out there,” says Vancouver defense lawyer Paul Doroshenko. “The government has been able to justify this, but the issue really is if this is just the beginning of a slippery slope.”

Five of the speed cameras will be switched on on Monday, with 35 scheduled to online by early next year. Twelve will be located at main intersections in Vancouver, seven in Surrey and three in Burnaby.

The corner of Boundary Road and Kingsway in Burnaby sees more than 160 crashes a year and dozens of industries. People who work in the buildings nearby say they see them all the time and say intersection cameras will help.

“My concern is that when the provincial government sees the revenue generated from it, they’ll want more,” Doroshenko tells NEWS 1130.

“I also don’t like the fact that when you are issued a ticket that you don’t know it’s happening. The deterrent effect of stopping someone, pulling them over, we know that it works. It’s one of the most effective ways to stop people from committing offenses, to publicly stop them so that other people can see them.”

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth says no jurisdiction will ever tell drivers the speed at which the cameras will be triggered, but says if you drive like a “normal person,” you’ll likely be fine. If you drive like a “self-entitled jerk,” he adds, you’ll get a ticket.

Doroshenko foresees a backlash when owners start getting speeding tickets in the mail when it wasn’t them behind the wheel of the vehicle, one of the many complaints about B.C.’s hugely unpopular photo radar program during the 1990s.

The province decided on the 35 intersections that would receive the new cameras in May, after looking over speed and crash data at 140 intersections that already have red-light cameras.

Farnworth says around 60 per cent of crashes on B.C. roads are at intersections, and the new cameras will be strategically placed at high-risk locations best suited to ticketing speeding drivers and changing their behaviours.

Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord says while it would be great if officers could personally pull over each and every speeder, the “fact is there’s way too many speeders.”

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