Some red light cameras will do double-duty as speeder catchers. (Contributed)

B.C. cities brace for possible drop in traffic fine revenue

Province wants to discuss revenue-sharing agreement as traffic enforcement expected to improve

The province and the Union of B.C. Municipalities are set to discuss how they will share the increased fine revenue set to come in from upgrades to red-light cameras and electronic ticketing.

Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne, who sits on the UBCM executive, said the province told the organization it was looking to amend how the revenues are shared, aiming to have a new agreement signed by the end of spring.

In its letter dated Wednesday, Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson cited the “ongoing expansion of automated traffic enforcement,” including the new red-light cameras used to catch speeders.

Announced in March, the “intersection camera system” will be able to issue speeding tickets automatically, as well as tickets for running a red light.

READ: B.C. upgrades red light cameras to catch speeders

Additional, police in Vancouver and Delta have been testing out new electronic tickets in the past couple of months that allow them to simply swipe a driver’s licence to log all of the information.

Currently, the province collects the fines and redistributes between $50-60 million to municipalities of more than 5,000 people. That amounts to the net revenue, minus any administrative costs. Smaller cities get a refund through a reduction in the police tax.

“Municipalities don’t have much in the way of tools to negotiate,” Hayne said. “I guess what I’m saying is that at the end of the day the province will tell us what the deal will be.”

He did say the NDP government has been “very collaborative” so far, and hoped the outcome won’t cut into one of the few revenue sources cities have. Currently, most of the money cities are able to raise come from property taxes.

Raising those is never popular, he said, but municipalities could be forced to do so if traffic fine revenue drops.

“We know that policing costs are going up on a yearly basis,” Hayne said.

“All of the protective services for anything to do with cannabis legalization?” he added. “That’s going to fall on local government.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: SAR reinforcements from up Island arrive Sunday to help search for Ben Kilmer

Family, RCMP ‘extremely happy’ with the search effort so far, search manager tells volunteers

Robert Barron column: Nicole Lynch deserves a medal

It takes a great deal of courage to walk into a potentially dangerous situation

Drivesmart column: It’s motorcycle season

My experience investigating collisions reinforced that a rider must drive defensively at all times

David Suzuki column: Degree sparks necessary debate

Too often, though, the discussion has strayed from topics that need attention into personal attacks.

Search area expands as crews look for Ben Kilmer

Operation will continue into Saturday evening and resume on Sunday morning

VIDEO: SAR reinforcements from up Island arrive Sunday to help search for Ben Kilmer

Family, RCMP ‘extremely happy’ with the search effort so far, search manager tells volunteers

Coming up in Cowichan: Spring fair; Christian Science lecture; market

Get ready for some family fun with the Drinkwater Elementary School PAC annual spring fair

Cowichan Coffee Time: New principal, and fundraising galore

• School District 79 introduced Nicole Miller, who has been appointed principal… Continue reading

175 evacuation orders lifted as floods recede in Grand Forks

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Most Read