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70% British Columbians support speed, red light cameras: poll

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Photo radar is a concept that often gets many peoples’ blood boiling, and yet, a new survey on cameras at intersections used to catch speeders, finds there’s a lot of support in our province.

Cameras that stay in one location and measure the speed of a vehicle have the support of more than seven-tenths of people in B.C., according to Research Co.

“We do see a high level of support from British Columbians on all the [radar] items we tested,” explains pollster Mario Canseco.

“The one the government is thinking about more than others is the idea of using red light cameras to record people that might be speeding. Seventy per cent of people are happy with this idea. There’s definitely a lot of support for this.”

People are also okay with hand-held radar guns according to Canseco–nearly two-thirds of people support using cameras that can be moved to different places.

“What’s interesting about how automated speed enforcement works is you send the ticket to the owner of the vehicle or where the vehicle is registers. Having the officers holding those radar guns is definitely different from automated speed enforcement. There’s definitely a level of support for having police officers doing this, particularly on bridges,” he says.

“It’s usually easier for people to accept when it s a police officer who is handling this and who is issuing a ticket right there. There might be more resistance from residents when it’s something taken with a camera.”

Caseco adds more than half approve of point-to-point enforcement, where the average speed of a car going between two points is calculated.

The surprising part of the survey, according to Canseco, is that there wasn’t a large generational divide. He says he was expecting younger generations to be more impacted by speed cameras and to be angered at the thought of being filmed when they’re speeding.

“It’s not a situation where you see a lot of people who are unhappy with them. But there’s a little more resistance in the Metro Vancouver area, which is understandable. This is where most of the cameras that will be used will be located.”

The survey comes after the province announced last week that red light cameras at 140 intersections had begun running around the clock, rather than for six hour periods.

-With files from Sonia Aslam