With 22 crashes causing injury or death occurring every day in the City of Vancouver, motion calls for the installation of speed and red light safety cameras to improve safety
VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories) - Councillor Christine Boyle today announced the introduction of a motion to Vancouver City Council, aimed at slowing down Vancouver’s fastest and deadliest streets - improving safety for people of all ages, especially children and families going to school.
The motion, which will be heard at the November 1 meeting of the Standing Committee for Strategic Priorities, calls for the installation of speed and red light safety cameras at intersections across Vancouver. It asks that the cameras be installed near intersections with over 100 crashes resulting in an injury or fatality between 2018 and 2022 - and at intersections with over 50 such crashes if they are near a school.
There are 151 such intersections throughout Vancouver, with only 44 such intersections already protected by safety cameras. ICBC data shows that in the City of Vancouver, between 2018 and 2022, there were 41,096 crashes causing an injury or death - an average of 22 per day. These injuries are suffered disproportionately by vulnerable road users. In Vancouver, over 50% of all serious injuries and fatalities involving a motor vehicle are borne by people walking or cycling. 45% of all pedestrian fatalities are senior citizens.
Speed is the primary contributing factor to fatal crashes in B.C., making the need for more efficient and effective speed enforcement tools, like safety cameras, painfully clear.
“In 2021, over 7,300 of our neighbours were treated in hospital for injuries sustained in car crashes - and 18 of them were killed,” said Councillor Christine Boyle, OneCity Vancouver. “This Council was elected to improve public safety. Installing speed and red light safety cameras at our most dangerous intersections is a cost-effective way to do just that.”
The City of Vancouver is already committed to a Vision Zero strategy, which involves a number of actions to improve infrastructure dedicated to road safety. However, these efforts have been slow, with a substantial backlog of requests in neighbourhoods across Vancouver - including requests from Parent Advisory Councils for road safety improvements around schools.
Children frequently identify cars as the biggest safety risk in their neighbourhood. This motion would allow the rapid deployment of road safety infrastructure around schools, substantially improving road safety for users of all ages and ability - and particularly improving road safety for children and families, as they walk, bike or roll to school.
"We're proud to support Councillor Boyle's motion. With some of the City's most dangerous intersections near our school, it is necessary to get these cameras installed," says Sarah Plant, co-Chair of the Florence Nightingale Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee. "They'd be an important deterrent to cars speeding along the arterial routes and additionally, could help to control cars from stopping in intersections, an issue that currently forces kids and families to walk between cars."
The motion requests that the Province install the cameras, as automated traffic enforcement is, at present, outside of municipal jurisdiction. It also calls on the Province to grant municipalities the power to install these cameras at their own cost, which would allow communities across British Columbia to improve their own road safety.
According to a study published in the Journal of Transport and Health, speed cameras rank among the most cost-effective safety interventions, with some reports demonstrating estimated cost-benefit ratios exceeding 10:1.
"We are very enthusiastic to support Councillor Boyle’s motion. Vancouver’s streets are simply too fast to be safe,” says Mihai Cirstea of Vision Zero Vancouver. “Automated speed enforcement and red light cameras are efficient, effective, evidence-based ways of reducing collisions at our deadliest intersections. If implemented, this motion will make drivers, pedestrians, and children safer on our sidewalks, crosswalks, and streets as they travel to their destinations."
At present, there are 43 traffic cameras in the City of Vancouver, generating an average of $8.2 million in revenue. This motion would earmark any additional revenue toward addressing the city’s backlog of road safety requests, making Vancouver safer, healthier, and more equitable for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
OneCity Vancouver communications committee