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

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Drivesmart column: No playing in the street!

The residential street we lived on was treated as an extension of the front yard

Jitney tradition marks Canada Day

About half CLBC’s membership takes part

Robert Barron column: Being a reporter sometimes pays off

About 15 years ago, I was randomly picked for jury duty in Nanaimo.

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Cowichan Coffee Time: Mounties partner with CTRA, plus bursaries

• Cowichan Spirit of Women has accomplished a lot in the Valley… Continue reading

Coming up in Cowichan: Boots full of treasure, Dementia workshop, MP’s town hall meeting

Celebrating five years at the Station with ‘Loot in the Boot’ Cowichan… Continue reading

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Most Read