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66% of British Columbians support lowering speed limits: survey

Residents who say they support lower speed limits increased eight percentage points since 2019
More B.C. residents are supporting lower speed limits (Photo by Brent Calver)

As speed remains a leading factor contributing to fatal crashes province-wide, 66 per cent of British Columbians say they would be okay with reducing speed limits.

According to a Research Co. poll, released Friday (June 10), 66 per cent of B.C. residents would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ like to see the speed limit reduced to 30 km/h on all residential streets in their municipality, while keeping the speed limit on arterial and collector roads at 50 km/h.

That is an increase of eight percentage points compared to 2019, Research Co. said.

The idea of lowering the residential speed limit is most popular in southern B.C., at 72 per cent, followed by 67 per cent support in Metro Vancouver and northern B.C., 63 per cent in the Fraser Valley and 58 per cent on Vancouver Island.

Women and those aged 18 to 34 are most in favour of lower speeds.

In 2019, the Vancouver City Council passed a motion to establish a pilot project to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h on select residential streets in the city. The pilot project is currently running in Grandview-Woodland.

On average, 82 people die each year in speed-related crashes in B.C., according to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

Additionally, an increase of only one km/h in average vehicle speed results in a rise of four to five per cent in the incidence of fatal crashes, suggesting a reduction of speed limits might be the best way to prevent more fatalities.

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