B.C. government announces red-light camera tweaks to help curb ICBC costs

Emma Crawford Hampel / BIV

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Around 60% of all crashes in the province take place at intersections | Shutterstock

In a move intended in large part to address ICBC’s rising claims costs, the provincial government announced March 8 it is planning to upgrade some of its existing red light cameras to be able to identify and ticket the fastest vehicles driving past.

“The pressure on ICBC’s insurance rates starts in one place – the rapid increase in the number of crashes occurring around our province, more than 900 per day,” said ICBC board chair Joy MacPhail.

“We believe this road safety enhancement will have a positive impact on reducing some of the most serious crashes occurring at some of the highest-risk crash intersections in B.C.”

The government said it has not yet identified which of the Intersection Safety Camera (ICS) sites will be getting the upgrades, but said it will be studying this in the coming months.

According to Neil Dubord, traffic safety committee chair for the BC Association of Chiefs of Police, the upgraded cameras are expected to be beneficial, particularly in areas where traffic volumes and multi-lane intersections make it difficult for officers to safely pull speeders over.

“This new enforcement approach, with signs and digital intersection speed cameras, will enhance traditional enforcement and improve officer and public safety,” Dubord said.

“Most importantly, I think it will reduce the frequency and severity of crashes

According to stats provided by the B.C. government, speed is the number one contributor to fatal crashes. Around 60% of all crashes in the province take place at intersections. Of the almost 700 million times cars passed through intersections per year between 2012 and 2016, 17% of them were speeding

On average, 84 crashes per year occur at each ICS site in B.C. An average of 10,500 vehicles travel through these intersections going at least 30 km per hour over the limit.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV

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