Sign crew posts new speed limit Wednesday on the Okanagan Connector

Speed limits going up around B.C.

A new 120 km/h limit on three stretches of divided highway, other limits raised on southern highways

The B.C. government is raising speed limits around southern B.C., including a new 120 km/h limit on remote stretches of divided four-lane highway.

The new maximum applies to the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Kamloops, the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97C) from Aspen Grove to Peachland and Highway 19 from Parksville to Campbell River. The Coquihalla sections get new 120 km/h signs this week, and more changes will roll out this summer as sign crews put up new limits.

In all, 35 sections of rural provincial highway totalling 1,300 km are getting higher speed limits. Transportation Minister Todd Stone said limits are being raised where traffic studies show the vast majority of traffic is already going faster than the posted limit.

A pilot project will test variable speed limits depending on volume and weather conditions. Digital signs that can display different limits will be tested on sections of the Trans-Canada, Coquihalla and Sea-to-Sky highways.

The Sea-to-Sky Highway gets an increase from 80 to 90 km/h from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish. Other increases are 80 to 100 km/h on Highway 3 from Manning Park West to Allison Pass, 90 to 100 km/h from Revelstoke to Golden and 100 to 110 km/h on Highway 97C from Merritt to Aspen Grove.

In northern B.C., 52% of people taking part in public consultation did not support speed limit increases. All other regions had support, the highest in the Lower Mainland at 81%.

RCMP opposed increasing speed limits on rural highways. ICBC representatives also expressed safety concerns, and will monitor areas with higher limits to see if the severity of crashes increases.

Ministry statistics show the number of serious crashes on provincial highways has decreased 28% since 2003, from a combination of improved vehicle technology, driver education and enforcement.

The ministry accepted recommendations from RCMP representatives to improve signs to encourage slower traffic to move to right lanes, and clarifying winter tire rules. The ministry is changing regulations to make tires with an “M&S” (mud and snow) symbol as well as those with a “mountain snowflake” (winter) symbol are acceptable for roads requiring winter tires.

New designs for wildlife warning signs, including lighted signs for high incident areas, are being installed.

An updated sign reminding drivers to “Keep Right, Let Others Pass” is being installed, after people around the province expressed frustration about the slow vehicles in passing lanes.

 

Just Posted

Cache Creek landfill extension set for September completion

Project has been delayed due to wildfires and floods over past two years

Drag races set to return for Graffiti Days weekend

Annual event features old favourites like the smoke show, and new events like a drive-in movie

Bonaparte River fishway, Thompson steelhead among projects awarded grant funding

More than $9 million will help 170 fish and wildlife projects around B.C.

Wellness clinics provide free, drop-in health information

New service in Clinton helps patients manage their health care and stay out of hospital

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parent’s cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Most Read