A Central Saanich councillor predicts that a dramatic increase in fines for speeding would make roads safer.
Coun. Carl Jensen said current fines do not sufficiently deter people from speeding after councillors signed off on a motion calling on the provincial government to “significantly” increase speeding fines.
“Speeding is cheap in B.C.,” he said. “In fact, speeding is so inexpensive that the current fines do not provide a sufficient deterrent preventing people from speeding.”
Jensen said he would like to see the government take the same approach towards speeding, as it has done towards distracted driving. The fine for a single distracted driving violation ticket is $368, along with four penalty points applied to the record of the driver. These points will also result in the driver paying an additional $210 ICBC driver penalty point premium for a total of $578 for a first infraction.
“A cost of $578 will get the attention of drivers and has the potential to provide a much greater deterrent,” said Jensen. “A fine of $138 for speeding up to 20 km/h over the limit is simply not nudging drivers in the direction to make the right choice when it come to recognizing posted speed limits.”
Jensen said excessive speeding is the issue about which he has heard the most from residents since his election in 2011 and Central Saanich’s motion (if translated into action) promises to make speeding less attractive without costing local governments a dollar.
“The input we receive from residents in person, via email or letters or over social media is that the police need to increase enforcement or we need to increase traffic calming measures such speed humps,” he said. “[But] the problem with those options is that they are very expensive for the municipality, and ultimately there is no guarantee they will solve the problem.”
Central Saanich’s motion now goes before the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities which will hold its 2020 convention April 17-19 in Nanaimo. It could then up becoming part of discussions at the 2020 Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference Sept. 21 to 25 in Victoria, B.C.
Central Saanich’s initiative appears among several related efforts to curb speeding in the Greater Victoria region and elsewhere in province.
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