Long traffic tie-ups due to accidents on the Malahat Drive are a regular occurrence. (Goldstream News Gazette)

Malahat biggest risk careless driving, not speed, SenseBC says

Claire Trevena rules out speed cameras for Vancouver Island road

Vancouver Island’s scenic Malahat Drive can be a hazardous trip, but it’s mostly not due to exceeding the speed limit, according to data released Wednesday by B.C. driver advocate group SenseBC.

ICBC and transportation ministry crash data for 10 years on the Highway 1 stretch north of Victoria were obtained via freedom of information regulations. SenseBC researcher Derek Lewers said the results show only 5.6 per cent of accidents on the Malahat from 2008 to 2017 were attributed by police to exceeding the speed limit.

Getting the crash data took months and an appeal the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner, Lewers said.

As with other recent crash analyses of B.C. roads, “driver inattentive” was the biggest factor in Malahat crashes, at 25.6 per cent. Lewers says the Capital Regional District’s Traffic Safety Commission has lumped together speeding and driving too fast for conditions, at 12.6 per cent, for its push to have average speed cameras installed on the Malahat.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena ruled out the speed cameras, which SenseBC calls “photo radar 2.0” this week, after a long lobbying campaign by the CRD. Trevena made the comments as she released a study of the Malahat that found that severe crashes were not frequent enough to justify the cost of an alternative route for times when the Highway 1 route is shut down due to accidents or other hazardous conditions.

A recent police enforcement campaign on the Malahat showed speeding was a big problem, at least on Sunday, Dec. 8. Police set up a speed trap for five hours that day and ticketed 19 vehicles for excessive speeding, which is more than 40 km/h over the posted limit. Each driver got a $368 fine and the vehicle impounded for a week, a penalty SenseBC says adds up to more than $2,000 with impound fees and increased ICBC premiums.

For gathering the official statistics, the Malahat is defined as the portion of Highway 1 between West Shore Parkway in Langford north to Mill Bay Road in Mill Bay.

RELATED: Police impound 19 vehicles for excessive speed on Malahat

RELATED: Province says no to alternative route for Malahat

Another 63 speeding tickets were also issued in the blitz, costing $138 for up to 20 km/h over the limit, and $196 for going 20 to 40 km/h over. Acting Staff Sgt. Ron Cronk of the CRD’s road safety unit said high-speed driving is a constant problem on the Malahat.

SenseBC counters that according to ICBC and transportation ministry data, with 90 million trips over the Malahat in 10 years, only one fatality was attributed by police to excessive speeding. Statistics show there were 414 crashes over 10 years, which Lewers called an “unremarkable” crash rate.

SenseBC co-founder Ian Tootill said he is pleased that Trevena ruled out speed cameras, but cited ministry data showing the Malahat speed limit should be increased.

“Let’s put our police resources to work effectively, watching for aggressive, incompetent and impaired drivers, and stop robbing the ordinary hard-working British Columbian who is not negatively impacting road safety,” Tootill said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some members of city council say the current plan for rebuilding the library isn’t in the community’s best interest, but the majority of council say it should go forward as is, so the motion to reexamine it was defeated. File photo/Campbell River Mirror
Re-examination of plan for new Campbell River library narrowly voted down by council

‘I haven’t heard one argument that does make sense for why that has to be the location’

A welcoming ceremony was held at the meeting of the SRD board April 14, where gifts were exchanged between KCFN Director Kevin Jules (left) and SRD Chair Brad Unger (right) to mark the historic occasion. Photo Submitted
KCFN officially joins SRD as full member

‘For KCFN, this has been a long journey and a long time coming’ says SRD board member Kevin Jules

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Island Heath has issued an overdose advisory for Campbell River. If someone has overdosed, administering naloxone can help. File photo
Overdose advisory issued for Campbell River

People using drugs advised to protect themselves

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Most Read