British Columbia is in the process of upgrading and expanding its 20-year-old Intersection Safety Camera (ISC) program, which has a proven record of curbing red-light runners and the serious crashes they cause.
Current capabilities and limitations:
- Currently, B.C.’s ISC program operates red-light cameras at 140 high-risk intersections.
- The program began in 1999. Until late 2017, each camera was activated for up to six hours a day.
- The cameras have been operating 24 hours a day since August 2018.
- The existing red-light cameras monitor traffic volumes and the prevalence of speeding at all existing ISC locations.
- Although the existing red-light cameras monitor speed, new equipment must be installed to accurately read and verify individual vehicle speeds to conduct automated speed enforcement.
- Automated speed enforcement cameras, like red-light cameras, need to be prescribed in provinicial regulation to ensure consistency of approach and technical standards.
- ISC program tickets are issued to the vehicle’s registered owner.
- By early 2019, government expects to complete technical consultations and identify the 35 existing ISC locations that will be upgraded for speed enforcement.
- Analysis of crash and speed data is ongoing. The feasibility of each of the 35 sites will be confirmed by project engineers, who will examine technical considerations in detail.
- The ministry anticipates phased activation of the upgraded cameras next year, with the 35 locations to be active by fall 2019. Before activation, project engineers will confirm site feasibility, municipal construction permits will be approved and new equipment will be both prescribed in regulation and installed.
- At each ISC location upgraded to enforce speed, new signs will warn approaching drivers about the enhanced intersection speed enforcement.
- The upgraded cameras will capture the images and speed of the fastest vehicles passing through monitored intersections on red, yellow or green lights. These images and data will be further reviewed by intersection safety camera officers, who will verify the information and confirm that a charge can be laid.
Key facts and figures:
- Between 2012 and 2016, each ISC site averaged 10,500 vehicles a year going at least 30 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit.
- On average, ISC program intersections each have 84 crashes a year.
- Automated speed enforcement is used in the three prairie provinces and in Quebec.
- Pilot testing in Quebec resulted in a 99% reduction in excessive speeding, a 20% to 30% reduction in crashes and a 12-kilometre-per-hour reduction in average vehicle speed.