Bring interval speed cameras to Malahat, CRD and CVRD say


The CRD and CVRD are asking the province to introduce interval speed cameras on the Malahat in order to reduce speeding. But the idea has privacy advocates concerned. Calvin To reports. 

The Capital Regional District (CRD) and the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) want to see the province introduce interval speed cameras on the Malahat in order to reduce speeding.

The two regional districts are now drafting a letter to the province asking that interval cameras be implemented as a pilot project.

It could be sent as early as this week.

Colin Plant, the CRD’s traffic safety commission chair, says the technology has made a difference elsewhere.

“The amount of speeders is so significantly reduced after cameras are introduced that you see significant, 50 per cent, 90 per cent reductions in speeding,” Plant said.

Plant says it’s different from photo radar but similar.

According to a 2016 study, photo radar was likely responsible for lowering speed-related fatalities in the province between 1996 and 2001.

The controversial program was brought in by a previous NDP government and later scrapped by the Liberals.

The province says it’s open to exploring the idea of using interval cameras, but not photo radar.

“We know it’s a dangerous stretch of highway, we know local government’s concerned about that, and we’re more than happy to work with them on measures to try and address that,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

But the idea has some privacy advocates concerned about how long the information will be stored and who will have access to it.

“There’s a benefit for everybody,” said Vincent Gogolek, executive director of the B.C. Information and Privacy Association. “But you want to make sure that along with that benefit, you’re not creating a police state where they’ve got a huge file on where everybody is all the time in case we need it.”

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