NANAIMO — After more than 400 people were nailed last year, it's likely many more drivers will be dinged for running red lights in Nanaimo in the near future.
As part of an initiative to reduce crashes and cut costs at B.C.'s public auto insurer, the NDP government announced this week red-light cameras around the province will be activated 24 hours a day. Currently they're only used for six hour shifts.
Nanaimo's two red-light cameras, installed in 2011, are positioned on the Island Hwy. at Aulds Rd. and at the Norwell/Bowen intersection. ICBC data provided to NanaimoNewsNOW showed 423 tickets were issued in 2016, 271 of which happened at the Norwell intersection.
"We need to stop people from running red lights and causing fatalities and serious injuries," the Ministry of Attorney General said in an email to our newsroom. "Accidents at city intersections are a major driver of costs and misery."
The Ministry also said adding more cameras will be considered "in consultation with other ministries and local governments."
ICBC's online crash map shows the Norwell/Bowen intersection averaged 60 crashes per year between 2011 and 2015 — the most of any Nanaimo intersection — and had the most crashes resulting in injury or fatality.
The Ministry said the conversion to 24-hour camera enforcement will happen in the coming months, but didn't have an exact timeline.
Several other initiatives, including a campaign about the dangers of distracted driving, are also planned to cut costs by making roads safer.
34,000 tickets were issued province-wide in 2016 as part of the intersection safety camera program. All fine revenue collected by ICBC is remitted to government, who distributes net revenue to municipalities. The fine for running a red light is $167 and two demerit points.
Nanaimo's highest crash intersections:
- Island Hwy. @ Bowen/Norwell - 301
- Island Hwy. @ Rutherford/Mostar - 290
- Island Hwy. @ Northfield (turning lane) - 259
- Island Hwy. @ Aulds/Hammond Bay (turning lane) - 255
- Bowen Rd. and Northfield Rd. - 171
*Based on ICBC data between 2011 and 2015
On Twitter: @domabassi
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