Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

No bridge cameras: Les

with one comment

Jeff Nagel Black Press, April 29, 2007

[I would put the link in to the portal but it seems to be crippled to deter bloggers]

B.C. Solicitor General John Les says he remains opposed to putting automated speeding ticket cameras on the dangerous Pattullo Bridge, despite new calls from police to reconsider the idea.

No. Well, saving lives is obviously much more important than defending stupid partisan decisions. Photo radar was unpopular with drivers who speed. Surprise! But that did not mean that after the election you had to reward them.

Since the BC Liberals care nothing at all about keeping election promises (see BC Rail sale for instance) or being consistent (sudden recent reverse to going green) I offer the following suggestion as something which will not only reduce the number of deaths on this bridge, but could also be implemented elsewhere where speeding and collision severities are highly correlated. [see note]


Average speed cameras are widely used in Britain. They began to be installed after it was noticed that while drivers would slow down where photo-radar boxes (“Gatsos”) where posted, they would speed up again in between the camera locations. So choosing a length of road carefully they installed two cameras,  one at each end of the stretch of road to be monitored. They did not use radar. They used image recognition technology to compare number plates, and matched the time records of the two cameras, to calculate the speed of the passing vehicles. If you get through the length of road too quickly you get a ticket. They are also used to monitor construction speed zones on freeways (motorways).

So now you know about an effective solution, let’s get to what Les really cares about. Spin. Optics.

Easy. It’s not photo radar! No radar speed detecting devices are used in this installation. It also releases police manpower to deal with other issues. Everyone thinks that police should have better things to do than slow down speeders.

This has also the benefit of being truthful. Unlike the spin put on the sale of BC Rail (“it wasn’t sold it was leased”).

Oh and it might save a few lives. Not that I expect Les to care about that, but the press lap that up.

[note] Speeding and collision severities are highly correlated everywhere.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 2, 2007 at 6:13 am

Posted in Road safety

One Response

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  1. […] same technology that is used for reed light cameras. Which is actually the wrong technology, as I have pointed out here before. What is needed is something that will slow traffic down along the length of the bridge not simply […]

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