Editorial: Red-light runners

Intersections in B.C. are now being covered 24 hours a day with red-light cameras, but it’s a long way from Big Brother. Only two of the cameras are in Greater Victoria.

In the past, the cameras operated for only six hours a day, but now they will run around the clock. It’s better coverage, but will it make a difference?

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Throughout the province, 140 intersections are monitored by the cameras, including six on the Island. While catching red-light runners can help keep us safe, 140 intersections is only a tiny proportion of those in B.C.

If the object is deterrence, drivers have to know there is a good chance they will get caught. But with only two cameras in the region, most drivers could roam the city all week and never go through Tillicum Road and the Trans-Canada Highway, or Shelbourne Street at Hillside Avenue.

We know that drivers are running red lights all over the city. Last year, 60 per cent of the province’s 350,000 crashes occurred at intersections. Red-light infractions are likely a big part of that number.

Increasing the hours of coverage makes the cameras more of a deterrent, but increasing the number of cameras would be more effective. If drivers knew the cameras were at major intersections, so they would pass at least one on most trips, they would pay more attention.

Those who complain about red-light and speed cameras have no leg to stand on. The signs are clear and the laws are clear. If you break the rules, be ready to pay the price.

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