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Lipinski says more traffic enforcement cameras for Surrey ‘one of my top priorities’

Surrey Police Board meeting March 13 hears automated traffic enforcement cameras ‘can be expanded greatly’ here
Surrey Police Service Chief Constable Norm Lipinski. (File photo)

Data suggests the number of automated traffic enforcement cameras in Surrey “can be expanded greatly,”a Surrey Police Board meeting heard on March 13.

So said Surrey Police Service Insp. Earl Andersen at the outset of a related presentation from Fraser Health.

Fraser Health stats indicates that every year on average more than 79,000 people in B.C. are injured in road crashes, 2,500 are hospitalized and roughly 300 people die.

Presenter Jasmin Chatrath said using automated cameras to detect red light and speeding violations frees up police officers for other tasks.

“It’s very important that vehicles are kept at a speed where a crash is survivable,” she said. “Hopefully we can all accept that speed enforcement is needed.”

Even the previous NDP government’s vastly unpopular photo radar program between 1996 and 2001, which Chatrath described as a “highly charged political issue,” was “shown to be highly effective in reducing injury crashes.”

Currently ICBC and RoadSafetyBC are running 140 red-light intersection cameras province-wide and 35 of those also monitor speed on green lights. Chathrath said an opinion poll conducted in Metro Vancouver in 2023 by ResearchCO found that 73 per cent of respondents agreed with “speed-on-green” enforcement at intersections, 19 per cent disagree with it and seven per cent registered as “neither/unsure.”

She noted Surrey had 398 locations with 20 or more injury crashes from 2018 to 2022 to a total of 30,423 and 97 locations where 100 or more injuries were recorded in that same period.

Mike Serr, board administrator and chairman of the meeting, said he’s “quite surprised” there were that many crash locations in Surrey, added 398 with 20-plus crashes is “quite significant.”

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski said “this is in fact exactly the type of projects that I would bring forward once we’re police of jurisdiction, and we know we’re working towards that.

““It’s about public safety, it’s data, hard-evidence driven, and it’s something that has been proven to work in other jurisdictions and in fact other jurisdictions are getting on board rather quickly with this,” Lipinski said. “So I think this is one of my top priorities as we move towards POJ.”

The next Surrey Police Board meeting is set for April 25.

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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