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Are speeding, distracted driving tickets a B.C. cash grab?

Last Updated Nov 18, 2019 at 10:16 am PDT

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

SENSE has released Speed Kills Your Pocket Book 2, which says police, ICBC and the media poorly use statistics

It says B.C. uses distracted driving enforcement as a cash grab

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –¬†Are you being hoodwinked by the poor use of statistics about speed and distracted driving? The makers of a new video are questioning ICBC, police and how some speed limits are set in British Columbia.

Chris Thompson with the driver advocacy group SENSE BC is the man behind a previous viral video arguing speed and distracted driving enforcement are easy cash grabs for the government.

SENSE has now released Speed Kills Your Pocket Book 2, which says police, ICBC and the media use the statistics behind things like the province’s lowering of speed limits it had raised along some stretches of B.C. highway, poorly.

“A video that shows, through news clips and studies that have been reported on, how the government and the media are using statistics to push an enforcement agenda that is not necessarily justified by those statistics,” he says.

For instance, when the province lowered speed limits it had previously raised on some highways, Thompson says it used increased crash stats for a period, while not taking into account treacherous weather during the same period of time.

“Traffic fines, at least for the most part, should be based on actual danger as opposed to whether or not the government needs money or whether or not there’s some particular pet peeve, like cell phone use, that’s really easy to ticket but doesn’t necessarily harm as many people as the government makes it out to be,” he says.

Thompson argues the oft-used statement that distracted driving is now deadlier in B.C. than impaired driving is misleading.

“The reason it’s number two is because the number of fatalities due to impairment have dropped faster than the number of fatalities due to distracted driving, which have also fallen over that same period of time.”

You can look at some of the SENSE BC data here.