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.

Just Posted

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station upgrades completed

It’s the seventh station along Expo Line to see upgrades completed. Construction began in March 2017

Semiahmoo Trail students surpass Coldest Night fundraising goal

Rocco Forte and his team are third-year participants in Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year walk

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Surrey students learn the ins and outs of business through workers’ co-operative

Mentors work with youth in voluntary after-school program

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read