Point to Point Cameras – Questions and Answers

Q: Isn’t this just photo-radar under another name?

A: No. Photo radar was based on a vehicle going by one specific point, so it could be placed in what motorists would consider a “trap” – at the bottom of a long hill or immediately after a sign requiring an abrupt reduction in speed, for instance. Point-to-point measures over a considerable distance so only those speeding significantly over much of that distance would be penalized. Also, motorists would be warned well in advance and clearly that their speed would be monitored, so there would be no surprises.

Q: Is this used in other places?

A: Yes. It has been used for several years throughout much of Europe and in Australia … with very good results.

Q: Why focus just on speed when it is frequently NOT the cause of crashes?

A: A detailed study by the BC Coroners Service looked at 246 fatal crashes from the year 2013 and found that speed was a contributing factor in more than one-quarter of them. It may not have been the ONLY contributing factor, but it played a part in causing a crash. As well, even in many cases where it may not contribute as a cause of the crash, it inevitably increases the severity of the crash and the degree of injury likely to be suffered by those involved.

Q: Why the Malahat when stats show it doesn’t have proportionately as many crashes as some other roads in BC (such as Highway 16)?

A: When they do occur, crashes on the Malahat tend to be severe, causing death or serious injury, often because all vehicles involved are going at highway speed. Also, it is a high-consequence corridor and a crash on the Malahat often closes this highway for several hours.

Q: Isn’t it unfair to ticket the registered owner when that person may not have been driving at the time?

A: It is up to the registered owner to know who may be driving their vehicle and to ensure that those people too know the road safety laws and drive according to them. Of course, if a vehicle has been reported stolen, the ticket would be cancelled.

Q: Isn’t it unfair to focus solely on speed when this system won’t catch many other causes of crashes such as impairment, following too closely, or even someone driving while suspended?

A: This is just one more tool in the toolbox of road safety measures. Police will still be out on the Malahat and elsewhere conducting other types of road safety checks and catching other bad drivers.