The SENSE BC team was formed as SENSE (Safety by Education Not Speed Enforcement) by Ian Tootill and Ronald Niven in April of 1995 in response to the introduction of the planned Photo Radar program in 1996. Michael Cain joined as Director of Research the same year. Through a targeted guerrilla marketing and awareness campaign (for virtually no money), SENSE was able to fight an expensive and dishonest campaign launched in 1995 by the BC NDP Government, aided by ICBC. We did this by spreading the truth about a program that had little to do with safety, which in our opinion had little to do with safety and everything to do with fleecing motorists.
SENSE gathered over 25,000 names on a petition calling for the end of photo radar and an INDEPENDENT review of speed limits. The BC Liberal party sensed a political opportunity and promised to dismantle the program in 2001 after the election – which they did. They also commissioned a speed limit review in 2002 which was published in 2003.
SENSE was operated as a not-for-profit society until February 22, 2002 and later became known as SENSE BC. We have advocated for drivers on various issues since then; including Keep Right Except to Pass signage and legislation, speed limit reviews and the setting of speed limits on our highways using the internationally recognized 85th percentile.
SENSE BC is funded and operated entirely by a group of committed volunteers. We are a grass roots group which exists as a conduit for information as a balance to what we believe is a scale unfairly weighted on the side of parties with other agendas besides standing up for the motorist.
Ian Tootill :: Co-founder
Born 1960 in Victoria, BC
Ian is active in the BC capital and real estate development markets. He is based in Vancouver and enjoys water sports and travel.
Michael Cain :: Director of Research
Born 1966 in Kelowna, BC
Married; father of two; educational background: pre-engineering sciences, diploma business administration (operations management); self-employed consultant and software developer; compiled research on all aspects of transport safety, photo radar, speed enforcement, speed limits, and laws; additional research on education (improving drivers), engineering (improving roads), alcohol and drug effects on accidents, economic analysis of photo radar, etc.
Chris Thompson :: Video Producer
Chris is a reformed (i.e. former) lawyer with a bachelor’s degree in Honours Economics and a Juris Doctor, both from the University of British Columbia. He currently works in a quasi-law-enforcement capacity.
He has produced several educational and persuasive videos on YouTube including “FightFightHST – a Letter to Bill Vander Zalm”, and “Smart Meters are Not a Killer, Fascist Conspiracy” and “Speed Kills Your Pocketbook” which attracted almost 2 million viewers when it was released. In his spare time, Chris enjoys being a mediocre ice hockey goalie, a good scuba diver, and a moderately funny stand-up comic.
Derek Lewers :: Vancouver Island
Derek Lewers is a father of two, who has spent 30 years on the road as driver both professionally and personally. He has served his community as a volunteer firefighter for 13 years, achieving the rank of Lieutenant, safety officer, and assistant training officer. He has been a long-time community volunteer and enjoys working in the performing arts as both a performer, and doing technical work. Derek also enjoys unwinding in nature, as he photographs the outdoors. He is also very politically active in his community and thrives on doing research. Derek relishes uncovering stories behind the news as well as examining all sides of those stories.
Born in 1982, Vancouver.
Randy is a married father of two, who has been actively engaging provincial governments for common-sense laws on our roads since 2006. His affiliation with the BC Liberal Party was key to many of the revisions to the Motor Vehicle Act in 2014. When Randy isn’t selling Real Estate, he is active with several non-profit boards such as the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA), the Italian Cultural Centre and the Italian Day Festival Society.
Ronald Niven :: Co-Founder
Born 1945 in Vancouver, BC
Passed away May 2014
Sadly, Ron left us in May of 2014, having been an enthusiastic organizer and supporter of SENSE right from the beginning in 1995. Ron was an entrepreneur, devoted husband, father, grandfather, sportsman, gardener, avid driver and all round entertaining guy to be around. He enjoyed all discussion about politics, economics or anything topical and never resisted an opportunity to add his “two cents”, with his dry sense of humour, when engaging in spirited debate.