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Average Speed Over Distance: A Primer

Village Council Supports District of Squamish Initiative

The subject of noise, speed and accidents on the highway has long been a primary concern for the citizens of Lions Bay. Since the start of this term, the subject has come up several times at Council meetings, with long-time resident Greg Weary suggesting several possible solutions. One is the adoption of the Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) model, a means of monitoring excessive speeds that has achieved success in other countries.

At the final meeting before summer break, Public Works Manager Karl Buhr asked Council to support the efforts of District of Squamish Councillor John French, who will be lobbying for an ASOD pilot project at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) meeting this summer.

The Watershed asked French to explain the Average Speed Over Distance system.

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"These systems involve the installation of cameras, speed calculation devices and signage in two separate locations," French says. "For example, infrastructure could be set up just south of Lions Bay and somewhere a few kilometres north of the village. Any vehicle determined to have travelled that portion of the highway too quickly will be identified and the owner of that vehicle will get a speeding ticket in the mail."

While ASOD is essentially a form of photo radar, French says the significant difference with this system is the effort that is made to inform drivers they’re in an automated enforcement zone. At each camera point, large signs indicate to drivers when they’re entering an ASOD area. This means there is no need for law enforcement officials lurking behind signs or driving ghost cars.

French adds that an ASOD system works best across long stretches of highway without exit ramps, which makes the Sea to Sky is an ideal candidate for a pilot project. "There are many sections of the highway between Horseshoe Bay and Pemberton where the conditions are ideal for ASOD enforcement," he says.

French says that data across a number of European countries using this system shows significant declines in speeding, serious crashes and fatalities in those regions. "The advantage of ASOD over regular enforcement is that it operates 24 hours a day. It doesn’t take vacations and it complements the speed enforcement strategies currently in use."

When French is not working as District of Squamish Councillor, he's sales manager at Whistler 99 Courier & Freightways. As a long-time commuter along the Sea to Sky Highway, he says that while he has noticed significant improvement since the measures taken to upgrade the highway before the 2010 Olympics, "we still have too many crashes resulting in major injuries, fatalities and long road closures. When I travel through Britannia Beach, I stick to the 60 kilometre an hour speed limit, and this usually means traffic stacks up behind me. When I follow the speed limit through Lions Bay, it feels like 90 percent of the traffic is going by me at well over 80 kilometres an hour."

He says the advantage of a pilot project is to help identify any issues with administration or enforcement before a full system is implemented. French sees an opportunity for local governments along the piloted route to work with the provincial government to troubleshoot potential problems and ensure adequate resources are in place. He sees ASOD as complementary to existing enforcement systems and strategies. "The RCMP and West Vancouver Police would then have an opportunity to plan their enforcement efforts with the ASOD system as just one piece of the overall enforcement strategy."

French says he's pursuing this initiative because he's heard from other travellers that they are frustrated by the number of long highway closures as a result of speed-related collisions. He says it's important for municipalities and districts along the Sea to Sky corridor to work together to solve the speed (and noise) issues on the highway. "A united message from the entire corridor is stronger than one single voice from any one community in the region. Working together we can reduce fatalities, injuries and highway closures."

French encourages all citizens to make their voices heard. "When concerned drivers reach out to their Council members to share support for this initiative, it helps local elected officials understand levels of support." He also suggests drivers make their thoughts known to local MLA Jordan Sturdy and MP Patrick Weiler.

What are your thoughts about a possible ASOD pilot project along the Sea to Sky? Leave your comments below, or email

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kc dyer
kc dyer
Aug 28, 2023

From Val Morton:

I’m all for this pilot project. The speed limit through the village is essentially ignored and this seems like an extremely good solution to the problem.


kc dyer
kc dyer
Aug 23, 2023

From resident Marion Maxwell:

Love this option. Will the cameras be able to get plate numbers of motorbikes, I wonder?


This province has been woeful at enforcing speed limits and similarly the runners of red lights. Vancouver must have the worst drivers I have ever seen in my lifetime of travels. ASOD is well proven in multiple countries and so it is only a pity that we have to trial it instead of just getting on with the job and enforcing. At the same time I wish this province would get real about red light cameras.


Ekkehard Goetting
Ekkehard Goetting
Aug 14, 2023
Finally, a fresh initiative to address the insane speed and noise problem which so badly affects the quality of life in Lions Bay and along the Sea to Sky !
It was either former Mayor Karl Buhr, or former Mayor McLoughlin, who had statistics available, on how many cars were driving through Lions Bay on average per day, how many of them were speeding and how many were driving with excessive speed. 90 % speeding, I forget how many excessively, but it was astonishing how many. That actually matches the daily horror I experience when driving within the limit (plus 10 %) !
Former Mayor McLoughlin also reported that, several initiatives by Mayors of Lower Mainland communities, including his,to address…

We had photo radar in B.C until the Provincial Election in 2001 when one of the promises of Gordon Campbell’s Liberal Party was “No more photo radar”. The NDP was in disarray at the time and he didn’t need to say this to get elected

Although it seemed to be working well, it was deemed to be against our human rights !!

I applaud this latest initiative and hope it gets some traction.

I can’t understand why it works in several other countries yet we are afraid to try it...

pit d to be working

Ekkehard Goetting
Ekkehard Goetting
Aug 15, 2023
Replying to

......."we are afraid to try it" because cameras are deemed an invasion of privacy and the protection of privacy of people breaking the law is more important and getting more votes than protecting the basic right of people enjoying a peaceful environment and safe participation in road travel.

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