The B.C. government is slamming the brakes on speed-reading cameras at intersections around the province.
B.C. rolled out red-light cameras at 140 intersections earlier this summer. A selection of those cameras were to be further upgraded at some point this fall to catch speeders as well.
But Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth now says the province needs more time to review the data, and won’t be rolling out the new speed readers until the summer of 2019.
“We’re assessing the data at each of those intersections to determine what are the most dangerous intersections, where are we seeing the greatest problems,” Farnworth told Global News.
WATCH: Effectiveness of new red-light speed cameras questioned
“Thirty-five of those intersections will be selected for upgraded cameras that have the ability to detect speed, particularly people going through on a green light.”
Under the program, excessive speeders would have an image captured of their vehicle passing through the intersection, which would be delivered by mail with a speed reading and a ticket.
The NDP denies the new program is like the old, unpopular, photo-radar regime that the party implemented in the 1990s.
Under that program, police in unmarked vans parked in random locations and issued tickets at low speeding thresholds. It was scrapped in 2001.
WATCH: Province upgrades red-light cameras to catch speeders
Under the new program, every red-light speed camera will be visible on an online map, and there would be clear signage at the roadside warning of their presence, the province says.
That’s not enough to assure critics.
“One of the concerns we had was that it was a way to reintroduce photo radar, and that was a big concern that was shared by many members of the public as well,” said Kyla Lee with Acumen Law.
“Another concern we had was the ability of people to challenge the readings, the mechanisms that were being used to measure the speed and whether they were going to be effective and reliable.”
The province has not revealed what formula will be used to set speed thresholds once the new cameras come online next year.
— With files from Nadia Stewart and Jon Azpiri