Victoria, BC– Are you interested in a new system of enforcement for increased road safety on the Malahat corridor? If so, the BC government wants to hear from you.
The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is seeking public comment on the possibility of a pilot project on the Malahat using a system known as “point-to-point speed enforcement.”
The Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Traffic Safety Commission has proposed that the Malahat Highway be used for such a trial project because speed is a factor in many of the crashes on the Malahat, and also because it’s a “high-consequence” traffic corridor. If a crash requires that the Malahat be closed – and many do – it frequently affects all lanes. Because there are no alternate routes available for much of its length, the resulting traffic tie-ups and delays cause huge inconvenience to motorists and, frequently, significant economic loss.
In a point-to-point speed enforcement system, a camera captures the licence plate of a vehicle as it enters the pre-determined stretch of road, and then captures it again when it exits that stretch. The time it took for the vehicle to travel the stretch is calculated and, if it’s found to be above the speed limit, a speeding ticket is issued, either on the spot by a waiting police officer, or later through the mail.
The system differs from old-style “photo radar” in that it penalizes only those drivers who are speeding over a significant stretch of highway, not someone who may be speeding for only a moment. As well, drivers are warned repeatedly and well in advance by signage that their speed will be monitored, avoiding any suggestion they were entrapped by the system.
A study in Scotland showed that when the system was installed on a highway that had been plagued with multiple crashes, the number of fatalities and serious injuries dropped by 74%. Similar studies in Australia, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands found that fatalities dropped between 50% and 70%.
In an effort to reduce deaths, injuries and lengthy Malahat closures, the boards of both the CRD and the Cowichan Valley Regional District have formally expressed interest in a pilot project to gauge the effectiveness of a point-to-point speed camera system on the Malahat.
BC’s Solicitor-General has said he’s willing to consider that – but only if there’s public support for such a pilot project.
If you’d like to learn more about how a point-to-point speed camera system would work on the Malahat, a video describing it in more detail can be found on the CRD Traffic Safety Commission website: CRDtrafficSafety.ca.
Comments should be sent to BC’s Solicitor-General at PSSG.Minister@gov.bc.ca.
The Traffic Safety Commission reviews traffic safety in the capital region and makes recommendations through a committee to the CRD Board to help reduce or eliminate problems. The Commission also plans and carries out traffic safety education programs as provided for in the annual budget and approved by the CRD Board.
The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Colin Plant, Chair
CRD Traffic Safety Commission
Alan Perry, Project Coordinator
CRD Traffic Safety Commission