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Speed cameras safer for officers at intersections, former Mountie says

Last Updated May 11, 2019 at 8:09 am PST

A B.C. photo radar camera. (Source: CityNews Vancouver)
Summary

Lord says sometimes there can be unintended consequences when drivers adjust in unsafe ways

He believes the government should conduct an engineering analysis at each location

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With British Columbia bringing in speed cameras at the worst intersections this summer, we’re getting some idea of what to expect.

Some say police officers are already better equipped to make judgement calls when it comes to whether to issue a ticket roadside, but Rob Creasser, who served with the RCMP for 28 years, says the technology continues to improve. He’s hopeful this means officers won’t have to physically be in intersections.

“It’s actually a dangerous thing to do for officers, and being automated certainly takes that danger away,” he says. “It really doesn’t surprise me with the technology out there that they’re going this route.”

RELATED: Automated speed cameras coming to B.C. roads this summer

Texas A&M Engineering professor Dominique Lord has studied intersection cameras and says they can be effective, but sometimes there can be unintended consequences when drivers adjust in unsafe ways.

“What can happen is that the drivers can kind of speed before where the cameras are located because usually they are announced, and then they slow down and then they speed up again to kind of regain the time that the driver has lost,” he says. “The speeding can occur before and after where the camera is located. In that case, there are probably other things that the government could do to prevent that, maybe police officers nearby to prevent that, but that’s the behaviour that can happen.”

While Lord says speed cameras are easy to install, he believes the government should conduct an engineering analysis at each location to figure out if they are the best option available.