British Columbia Decreases Speed Limit As a Result of Increased Crashes.
Is Speed A Big Factor In B.C. Crashes?
The province of British Columbia has decided to reduce the speed limit on two of its highways following an increase tin some crashes since the speed limit was initially raised in 2014. The speed limit for Highway 1 from Hope to Boston Bar will be reduced from 100km/hr to 90 km/hr. The speed limit will also be reduced on Highway 5A from Princeton to the junction with Highway 97C from 90km/h to 80km/h.
The province will also implement additional road safety features such as rumble strips and improved road markings in stretches of the highways which saw the greatest number of collisions.
In a report issued June 28, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in British Columbia noted that crash rates have dropped or remained unchanged in 19 of 33 sections of highway where increased speed limits were implemented in 2014. Traffic engineers reviewed crash data from Nov. 1, 2014, to Oct. 31, 2015, and compared results to data from the previous three years. According to the ministry’s findings:
– In seven sections of the highways, where the rate of speed decreased, crashes also decreased.
– In 12 sections, where the rate of speed increased, crashes also decreased.
– In seven sections, the crash rate increased despite drivers travelling slower before the speed rates increased.
Speed Related Crash Statistics Confusing
Do these findings sound confusing? They are, but they can be explained. The results are not unexpected and suggest that many factors can lead to crash, with speed being only one of them. B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation continues to stress that distracted driving is the leading cause of collisions on B.C.’s highways. The study period showed that twenty-eight percent of all crashes were caused by distracted driving. Speed only contributed to two per cent of crashes.
Currently, the province of British Columbia does not have speed differentials between regular cars and heavy trucks. Commercial vehicles also do not require a limiter as in the case of other provinces in Canada. Unfortunately, the ministry will not implement limiters on commercial vehicles at this time due to British Columbia’s two-lane undivided highway structure.
British Columbia is committed to reducing collisions resulting from distracted driving. Most recently, fines were increased as a means to deter drivers who continue to interact with their phones while driving. The ministry will also continue to monitor crash data and look for ways to reduce crashes and collisions.