The British Columbia government has lowered speed limits on 15 sections of highway—totalling 570 kilometres—that have shown an increase in collisions since higher speed limits were introduced in 2014.
Among the sections of highway affected are Highway 1 from Boston Bar to Jackass Mountain and from Savona to Tobiano (decreased from 100 km/h to 90 km/h), and Highway 97C from Merritt to Aspen Grove (110 km/h to 100 km/h) and Aspen Grove to Peachland (120 km/h to 110 km/h).
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has thoroughly reviewed three years’-worth of data on 33 segments and 1,300 kilometres of highway where speed limits were increased as part of the 2014 Rural Safety and Speed Review.
The ministry said the new speed limit changes would begin immediately and, weather permitting, would be completed by the end of last week. A total of 339 signs have been changed.
In 2016, ministry engineers reviewed all 33 highway sections that received speed limit increases in 2014. As a result, speed limits were rolled back on two corridors: Highway 1 from Hope to Cache Creek, and Highway 5A from Princeton to Merritt.
Speed limits on the Coquihalla Highway—where variable speed limits are in operation—will remain the same.
“Speeding has been one of the top three factors contributing to car crashes, especially in rural and remote areas of B.C.” says Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “Research has shown that reducing speed lowers the number of crashes and severity of injuries, so I am very supportive of the speed limit reductions [that have been] announced.
“I look forward to the safety measures that will be implemented on B.C. roads, and will continue to work with the Road Safety Strategy Steering Committee to advocate for initiatives that will help keep all road users in B.C. healthy and safe.”
Other segments of highway affected by the decrease in speed limits include Highway 1 from Chase to Sorrento (100 km/h to 90 km/h); Highway 3 from Sunday Summit to Princeton (90 km/h to 80 km/h); and Highway 7 from Agassiz to Hope (100 km/h to 90 km/h).
Several corridors showed no reduction in safety, and speed limits will remain the same on Highway 97 from Cache Creek to 100 Mile House; Highway 99 from Cache Creek to Lillooet; Highway 1 from Salmon Arm to Revelstoke; Highway 1 from Revelstoke to Golden; Highway 3 from Hope to the Coquihalla; and Highway 5 from Hope to Kamloops.