red-light cameras
(Province of B.C./Flickr)

Red-light cameras that are in place at 140 high-crash intersections across the province—including six on Vancouver Island—are now operating at all times of day, the Ministry of Public Safety announced Tuesday.

Hours of operation have been increased from six hours a day to reduce intersection crashes, which are often the most dangerous due to head-on and side-impact collisions.

“For too long, cameras with a proven record of curbing red-light runners and the serious crashes they cause were not operating at full capacity,” Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said in a release.

“Last year, we saw a record 350,000 crashes in B.C., with about 60 per cent of them happening at intersections. The full activation of these cameras is overdue and an important step for safety on some of our busiest roadways.”

Full-time activation of the Intersection Safety Camera (ISC) program was announced in September 2017, and was completed at the end of July. The program itself has been in place since 1999.

Staff numbers have also been increased to review incidents and process additional tickets for drivers who run a red light.

On average, over 11,000 crashes happen at ISC sites each year, according to the ministry.

In a statement to Victoria Buzz, the ministry said that ICBC found a 5 per cent reduction in severe crashes and an overall 2.9 per cent reduction of all crashes at the new ISC locations when it conducted a program evaluation in 2015.

“Given the anticipated change in driver behaviour as a result of increased activation, the partners will continue to monitor the crash reduction impact of the program,” the ministry said.

Red-light cameras in full operation on Vancouver Island include:

  • Shelbourne Street and Hillside Avenue in Victoria
  • TransCanada Highway and Tillicum Road in Saanich
  • Highway 1 and Trunk Road in Duncan
  • Island Highway at Norwell Drive in Nanaimo
  • Island Highway and Aulds Road in Nanaimo
  • 17th Street and Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay

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