A Scottish solution for high-speed drivers on the Sea to Sky highway

Transportation minister says Canadians could benefit from average speed cameras

Let’s say you pull onto Hwy. 99 at Taylor Way in West Vancouver and head north.

Eighty kilometres of beautiful twists and turns later, you pull off the Sea to Sky highway.

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If you assume that the average posted speed limit along the route was 80 km/h, this drive should have taken you an hour.

But what if you did it in 45 minutes?

If you were in Scotland, you’d be fined.

That country’s minister of transportation says Canadians should also consider using average speed cameras to ding speeding drivers. The cameras measure the distance a vehicle travels on a highway and compare it to how long it took to drive it. Make the journey faster than the speed limit allows and you’ll be ticketed.

“Average speed cameras help to transform driver behaviour,” says Humza Yousaf.


Scotland has put cameras on three problem stretches of highway. The most recent was on the 51-kilometre portion between Dundee and Stonehaven. Instead of measuring how fast a vehicle is going as it passes the camera, the system records how much time the vehicle spent on the highway.

On the Dundee to Stonehaven route, 99 out of every 100 vehicles are now complying with the speed limit — as opposed to simply slowing down in front of the camera, the Scottish ministry says. Before the initiative, three out of every five vehicles were speeding.

“Additionally, this evidence has also shown that only 1 in every 5000 vehicles are now speeding at more than 10mph over the speed limit.  This is also a significant improvement when considered against the fact that 1 out of every 5 vehicles were speeding excessively prior to the installation of [average speed cameras],” a press release says.

In a tweet for his “Canadian friends” considering ASC, Yousaf tweeted that after the cameras installed on A77 in 2005, there was a 74 per cent reduction in fatal and serious casualties.

“Go for it Canada - Average Speed Cameras save lives!,” his tweet says.

Mayors in Lions Bay and Squamish have voiced support for the initiative.

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