Bad drivers generate millions for North Shore munis
B.C.’s bad drivers have kicked an extra $2 million into the North Shore’s municipal coffers — money that’s earmarked to pay police and public safety costs.
The province announced the individual tallies of its $51.1-million traffic-fine revenue sharing program last week, with the District of North Vancouver taking home $775,164, the City of North Vancouver earning $574,406 and West Vancouver’s take totalling $675,348.
In all, that amounts to $2,024,918 for the three North Shore municipalities this time around, up from just $1.25-million at the same time last year.
In a July 11 press release, B.C. Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong said the traffic-fine revenue sharing program is intended to “provide local services, to provide important local programs and and to invest in community safety.”
And while across the province those traffic-fine revenue grants were on the rise, one North Shore police chief says he expects this year’s bump to be clawed back by Victoria next year.
“With the increase this year,” said West Vancouver police chief Peter Lepine, whose department netted a surprise $270,000 more in fees over last June, “what we were told by the province is that next year there will be an almost equivalent reduction in that amount.”
Lepine said that as a result of the expected take-back, he has advised West Vancouver’s police board and finance staff to squirrel away the excess cash, rather than spending it on community safety programs or hiring new constables.
“We didn’t want to get caught going into a budget cycle for 2013 with already $270,000 that won’t be there next year,” Lepine told The Outlook.
Both North Vancouver city and district also saw big boosts in traffic fine revenues from this June over last — with the city taking home $210,000 more in fees and the district clearing last year’s take-away by $284,000.
The traffic fine revenue is raised through roadside and court-imposed traffic violation fines and is doled out in biannual intervals with the next installment due in March 2013.