Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, out stumping for these new cameras being set up at intersections in Surrey and elsewhere in B.C. to catch the “fastest” motorists passing through red, yellow and green lights, offered up this tasty sound-bite to the media: “If you drive like a normal person, you’re not going to get a ticket. Drive like a self-entitled jerk, you’ll get a ticket.”
He has a point. However, there are troubling aspects to this new provincial-government program, which eventually will see eight such cameras installed in Surrey and Delta.
This is a cash grab reminiscent of the massively unpopular photo radar program that was imposed on the people of B.C. by the provincial NDP government of the 1990s. This political party is clearly still carrying a torch for such automated things, despite the damage it did to them at the election polls and support the incoming Liberals gained from promising to retire it, nearly two decades ago.
This NDP government swears up and down that today’s program is not photo radar, which it insists will not return under its watch. But as they say, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
The difference here is, this duck is mounted at intersections and not hiding on random stretches of road, manned by police sneaking around at the bottom of hills.
We’re supposed to trust the government when it says the cameras will be “tweaked to slow the worst leadfoots.” But this is a big ask, considering the NDP will not reveal the velocity threshold that will trigger these cameras. It could be one kilometre over the limit.
Who is to say otherwise, when the government is hiding this information from the public? It breeds suspicion.
Ironically, given the maniacs driving on our roads, sometimes motorists, in the interest of public safety, are forced to pass through a yellow light because failing to do so would result in a dangerous rear-ending by the “self-entitled,” tail-gating “jerks” behind them.
Will these motorists, who make the prudent call to pass through a yellow to avoid a collision, be ticketed?
Of course they will. And is that justice? No, it is not.