Letter: Photo radar in B.C. was a flop

Kelowna letter writer says photo radar wasn’t the cash cow it was hoped to be, it actually lost money

To the editor:

Fred Evans’ tirade against speed (Kelowna Capital News, July 26) omits a number of critical facts. In spite of his claims of carnage due to speeding, the fact is that excess speed is not (and hasn’t been for years) the major cause of traffic fatalities. He trots out the tired old theory that twice the speed in a collision, means four times the damage. He needs to explain why, for example, Germany with its unlimited speed autobahns, has a lower fatality rate than we have in B.C. The simple fact is that there is far more to the equation than simply speed.

Evans appears to want a return to photo radar. In fact, photo radar in B.C. was a flop. It not only wasn’t the cash cow it was hoped to be, it actually lost money. It is well known that fatality rates in North America have been steadily falling for 30 years or more, and the introduction (and later elimination) of photo radar had no visible effect on the decades-long falling fatality rate.

The claim that most pedestrians would survive an auto/pedestrian collision at 32 km is pointlessly absurd. Is Evans proposing to impose a general speed limit of 32 km/h? Well, good luck with that!

Evans’ implication that ICBC’s spiraling insurance rates are due to excess speed is nonsense. ICBC has stated the real problem is increasing litigation, and that new cars are far more expensive to repair. So, cheer up Mr. Evans; statistics clearly show that roads and driving in general are safer today than at any time in the past.

Robert Wilson, Kelowna