Province targets speeding drivers in upgrades to red light cameras

WATCH: Red light cameras at several spots across Vancouver Island will soon be able to identify and ticket speeding drivers. The province says the upgrades will be done at six dangerous intersections from Victoria to Courtenay. It’s an attempt to crack down on what is the main contributing factor in serious crashes. Dean Stoltz reports.

In an effort to improve safety at the province's most crash-prone intersections, upgrades will be made to existing red-light cameras to catch high-speed drivers.

The province had the Intersection Safety Camera (ISC) program fully installed in 2011 and say an average of 84 crashes take place at each site per year and speed is the top contributing factor.

At each of B.C.'s 140 ISC sites, with six located on Vancouver Island, the ministry of public safety says 10,500 vehicles travel at least 30 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit annually.

Crash and speed data will be analyzed in the coming months to inform decisions about activating ISC cameras for speed enforcement and drivers will see signs warning of enhanced intersection enforcement.

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec already use automated speed enforcement.

Pilot testing in Quebec showed a 99 per cent reduction in excessive speeding, an 84 per cent reduction in red-light violations and up to a 30 per cent drop in the number of crashes.

The province says reduced crashes will impact ICBC claim costs and "will help keep rates affordable for British Columbians."

"This is about slowing down the fastest drivers at intersections where we know that speed is a factor in causing accidents, so everyone on these busy corridors will be safer," Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in a release.

"There is very little public sympathy for those who flout the law and speed excessively through known, high-crash intersections. The signs will be there to warn you. If you ignore them and put others in danger, you will be ticketed."

The government says 60 per cent of all crashes in B.C. are at intersections.

The province is upgrading red-light cameras to identify and ticket speeding drivers. Photo courtesy CBC.