Road Safety Enforcement and Auto Crime Prevention
The Police Services’ road safety unit oversees the Enhanced Traffic Enforcement Program, an enforcement partnership program between the province, police and ICBC, that focuses on:
- reducing fatalities and serious injuries caused by crashes due to dangerous driving such as impaired driving, speeding, intersection violations, or using a hand held cell phone
- reducing auto crime
- addressing emerging road safety enforcement issues
- promoting public awareness
- The program assists police and the public by providing tools, technology and additional officers, to help target problem areas or issues.
B.C.'s road safety strategies are outlined in the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Service Plan 2011/12 – 2013/14
Road Safety Provincial Enforcement Campaign Schedule
|May 1 - 31, 2013
||High Risk Driving Campaign
|July 1 - 31, 2013
||Summer Impaired Driving Campaign (Alcohol/Drug)
|September 1 - 30, 2013
||Occupant Restraint Campaign
Distracted Drivers Campaign
|November 1 - 30, 2013
||Speed Relative to Conditions Campaign
|December 1/13 - January 1/14
||Winter Impaired Driving Campaign (Alcohol/Drug)
Integrated Road Safety Units (IRSUs) – Targeting Dangerous Drivers
Speeding, aggressive driving, driving while impaired, lack of seatbelts or using a hand held cell phone while driving are dangerous driving behaviours because they regularly lead to serious collisions, injuries and fatalities. IRSUs focus exclusively on pro-active traffic enforcement to help reduce serious collisions, while other traffic police combine enforcement with response to calls and crash investigations.
IRSUs are made up of full-time, dedicated traffic enforcement officers from both the RCMP and municipal police. Because traffic problems don’t stop at municipal boundaries, these specialized units work across traditional police jurisdictions to address resinous road safety issues. IRSUs are located in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, on Vancouver Island and in the North and Southeast districts of the province.
See Police Contact Information page on this website for list of IRSU unit names and contact phone numbers.
BaitCars are Everywhere – B.C.'s Auto Crime Prevention Program
A 'bait car' is a vehicle owned by the police and designed to be stolen. Once the 'bait' has been taken, the location, speed, and direction of travel of the vehicle are monitored by police dispatchers through GPS tracking. Everything that takes place inside the bait car is caught on real time audio and video as the dispatcher coordinates the police response. Once officers are in position, the engine is disabled allowing police to move in quickly to arrest the thieves.
The program also has recreational vehicles, mobile cargo and utility units, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, snowmobiles and a wide variety of bait.
Go to www.baitcar.com to watch thieves being caught in the act.
IMPACT (Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team) is the specialized team of police/ auto theft investigators that operates the BaitCar program, as well as deploying special investigation teams. Promoting public awareness and developing new ways to reduce auto crime in the province has helped make IMPACT a leader in auto crime investigation and recovery.
IMPACT manages the Bait Car Program now the largest Bait Car fleet in North America.
CounterAttack – Taking Impaired Drivers off the Road
CounterAttack is a police-run roadblock tactic used to catch alcohol impaired drivers, and help reduce injuries and fatalities. CounterAttack campaigns have been running in BC for over 30 years, and typically take place during July and December each year. A major part of CounterAttack is getting the message out that B.C.’s impaired driving laws are tough and hold harsh penalties.
It’s important to understand the responsibilities that go along with serving alcohol –you have a personal and legal responsibility for the safety and well-being of your guests and attendees. The CounterAttack Community Program is in place to help individuals, businesses, and communities help get the CounterAttack message out whenever holding an event where alcohol is being served. Posters, banners, information brochures, tent cards and more are available to have at your event to remind everyone of the dangers of drinking and driving and the possible impacts.
For more information or to order display materials, download this information sheet, CounterAttack Community Program from ICBC website.
Red Light Cameras – Intersection Traffic Safety
There are thousands of little decisions to make at an intersection. That’s why preventing intersection crashes helps save lives and reduce injuries. The provincial government, the RCMP and ICBC have recently expanded BC’s Intersection Safety Camera program.
Where cameras are located
Red light cameras are installed at BC’s worst intersections with high numbers of serious crashes, and potential to reduce side impact and head-on crashes, as well as serious injuries and fatalities.
New signs are prominently posted at intersections to advise drivers that red light cameras are. For more information see Intersection Safety page on on ICBC's website.
How the cameras work and violation tickets
If you enter an intersection with a red light camera after the light turns red, a picture of your vehicle’s rear licence plate, with time, date and location securely encoded, will be sent to the intersection safety camera office. A special officer is responsible for reviewing the photo, laying a charge under the Motor Vehicle Act and prosecuting disputed violation tickets in court.
For more information see Red Light Camera Tickets page on ICBC website.
Automatic Licence Plate Recognition – Licence Plate Cameras
In B.C., some police vehicles have specialized camera and computer systems installed that scan licence plates on vehicles to help reduce auto theft and identify motor vehicle violators related to prohibited, suspended, unlicensed and uninsured drivers.
Specialized cameras read and compare licence plates against a secure police database using pattern recognition software. Infrared cameras equipped with recognition software can read licence plates at a rate of up to 3000+ licences per hour. The cameras only focus on license plate numbers, not the people inside.
Removing unlawful drivers from our roads who have already lost their licences, improves safety for everyone.
For more information on the licence plate cameras see Automatic Licence Plate Recognition Technology page on BC RCMP website.
B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police – Traffic Safety Committee
The BC Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) Traffic Safety Committee (TSC) is the most active of all BC Chiefs committees and includes representatives from the police (RCMP and Independent Municipal Police Departments), ICBC, Justice Institute of British Columbia and the ministry.
The committee helps promote road safety by identifying, prioritizing and addressing issues common to police and their partners; and advancing legislative changes and improvements in support of increased road safety.
Police Services Division Road Safety Unit is the Secretariat of the BCACP Traffic Safety Committee, responsible for government/police liaison and ensuring the success of the provincial road safety enforcement campaigns.
Road Safety Publications
Road Safety Organizations and Initiatives
The Road Safety Unit has developed constructive partnerships with various organizations in the broader road safety community. The following links highlight some of the main road safety organizations and initiatives in British Columbia and Canada: