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TransLink defends unpaid red-light camera infractions

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

While TransLink bus drivers have been photographed running through red lights 233 times in five years, they aren’t required to pay the penalties because it would be too difficult to prosecute the offenders, Justice Minister Shirley Bond said late Tuesday.

In a statement, she said prosecuting the drivers would “waste scarce court and prosecution resources” without success, since decisions from previous court cases allow vehicle fleet owners to rely on a “defence of due diligence” if they have a “robust training and discipline process.”

“As frustrating as I know this must sound to most British Columbians … many red light ticket prosecutions would not be successful,” Bond said.

Instead, first-time offenders caught by red light cameras are brought back to where they were busted and retrained by ICBC instructors, according to TransLink spokeswoman Patricia MacNeil.

If it happened twice, drivers would be suspended. A third time, and they could face being fired.

TransLink instead retrains its operators on intersection safety, which every driver is required to take to become a bus driver, MacNeil said.

At $167 per offence, the fines — recorded between 2008 and 2012 — add up to $38,911.

B.C. has 140 intersection safety cameras spread strategically at intersections, with most placed in the Lower Mainland.

Tickets issued by police are a different matter, MacNeil said, as drivers have to either pay or dispute them, plus go through the same disciplinary steps that follow the camera tickets.

“Those consequences are very real, including possible job loss. That’s a serious matter,” she said.

Info box:

TransLink red-light violation numbers

2012 – 49

2011 – 37

2010 – 27

2009 – 49

2008 – 71


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