The Capital Regional District (CRD) is taking one step closer to installing speed cameras on the Malahat.
Over the next few weeks, the district’s traffic safety commission will be seeking input on the concept of point-to-point speed cameras on the popular Island highway.
“Point-to-point speed cameras are widely used around the world, and the CRD traffic safety commission believes they would be an effective way to significantly reduce deaths, injuries and crashes on the Malahat – crashes which often cut off Greater Victoria from the rest of the Island for hours at a time,” according to a post on the safety commission’s website.
As part of the proposed pilot project, 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 could be issued.
The cameras would only be used to catch drivers who consistently speed over a significant stretch of the Malahat, such as from Goldstream Park or Mill Bay to the south Shawnigan turnoff, and not someone who is speeding past one or two of the cameras.
When it comes to enforcement, police could pull drivers over at the end of a point-to-point enforcement zone or a ticket could be mailed to the owner of the vehicle.
For years, many within the CRD have been calling for the province to crack down on speedsters by installing the cameras, in hopes of reducing the amount of crashes that snarl traffic for hours for hundreds of drivers. As part of that call, the CRD along with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, submitted letters calling on the province to install the cameras in September.
Studies within other countries have shown the cameras are effective. In Scotland, when that system was installed on a highway that had been plagued with multiple crashes, the number of fatalities and serious injuries dropped by 74 per cent.
B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said he’s willing to consider testing the cameras on the Malahat, but only if there’s public support for such a trial.