Results are in for a public survey on installing speed cameras on the Malahat, and they show the majority of the input was in favour of the cameras.
The Capital Region District’s safety commission sought input on a point-to-point speed camera pilot project on the popular highway this past February and March.
According to the commission’s website, more than 1,400 people gave feedback on the idea and 70 per cent of the respondents were in favour of it.
Colin Plant is the CRD Traffic Safety Commission chair and he said the commission is pleased with the results of the survey. He also said he believes the results give the provincial government the license to install the pilot project on the Malahat.
Plant said due to privacy concerns, decisions about placing cameras in public spaces can be controversial. He said that if majority of the respondents are in favour of them, it is a good sign.
“I think the world has come a long way in the last 20 years and the willingness to embrace technology also factors in,” Plant said. “Technology has a role to play with traffic safety and the pilot project is a reasonable step.”
The cameras capture the license plate of a vehicle as it enters a predetermined stretch of road and then captures it again at the end of the stretch. The time it takes for a vehicle to get through the stretch is calculated and if it is above the speed limit, a ticket could be issued.
Plant said there will be signs to inform drivers that they are entering a monitored area.
“Hopefully they will realize that if they do decide to speed they will get a ticket,” Plant said. “The idea is to make the road safer and one of the ways…is to make people go slower.”
Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, wrote a letter to Steve Price, board chair of the CRD, on July 26 detailing the results of the survey.
The Goldstream News Gazette received a copy of the letter from CRD spokesperson Andy Orr.
The letter says the point-to-point speed cameras are to be used as a tool to reduce speed-related crashes on the Malahat. It also says that out of the 1,424 responses from the survey, 70 per cent were in favour, 3 per cent were neutral and 27 per cent were against the cameras.
“The results of this feedback are informative and of value as we continue with new traffic safety enforcement measures focused on improving road safety,” the letter reads. “As you are aware, we have announced the expansion of automated enforcement through intersection red light and speed cameras in the province. As we work towards implementation of these initiatives, we will also be considering other opportunities for improved road safety including point to point speed enforcement and the results of this public feedback will be considered in making such decisions.”
Plant said the CRD Traffic Safety Commission was asked by the province to conduct the survey. Now that they have done so and the results are in, Plant said he believes it is the government’s turn to act.
“Metaphorically, the ball is in the court of the province,” Plant said.