Road crash fatalities in B.C. have fallen by nearly 80 per cent as roads and vehicles have become safer

Minister nixes lower speed limits, photo radar

Default rate should be 30 km/h, and photo radar should be brought back, Provincial Health Officer Perry Kendall says

Transportation Minister Todd Stone has ruled out a return of photo radar and lowering urban speed limits to help reduce motor vehicle fatalities.

Provincial Health Officer Perry Kendall recommends in a new report that urban areas should have a default speed limit of 30 km/h to protect pedestrians and cyclists from fatal collisions.

Safer roads and vehicles have reduced fatalities for vehicle occupants by almost 80 per cent in the past 40 years, but the death rate for pedestrians has remained stubbornly high, and cyclist fatalities have gone up as more people take to bikes in urban areas, the report says.

Kendall said when a pedestrian is struck by a car travelling 50 km/h, the chances of survival are only 20 per cent. When the vehicle speed is reduced to 30, a pedestrian has about a 90 per cent chance of surviving a direct impact.

The current default speed limit for streets in B.C. is 50 km/h, and that includes urban streets where vehicles may be parked on both sides and drivers have little time to see a pedestrian stepping out. Currently municipalities have to post signs to establish a lower limit for any selected street.

Stone said Thursday the idea of lowering default municipal speed limits from 50 to 40 was debated at last year’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, and “quite resoundingly defeated.” He said there would have to be a significant change in position of local governments before he would consider it.

The report also recommends the province consider returning to photo radar speed enforcement, and Stone restated the B.C. government’s long-standing position against it.

“We believe there are more effective technologies that can be employed, and frankly a better way to utilize precious police resources than to resurrect what was largely a failed photo radar program that was nothing more than a tax grab for British Columbians,” Stone said.

One of those technologies is electronic speed limit signs that can be changed remotely to reflect weather conditions.

Stone said the ministry is close to activating its first three locations for electronic speed enforcement, on Highway 1 west of Revelstoke, Highway 5 north of Hope and Highway 99 between Squamish and Whistler.

Reducing Motor Vehicle Crashes in B.C.

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

Just Posted

Merville wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

One woman arrested after pair of armed robberies in Campbell River

Police still looking to speak with anyone who was around downtown Chevron Sunday night

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward after Saskatchewan arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Most Read