EDITORIAL: Higher speed, higher risk

Lead foots and left-lane campers, the province wants to hear from you

Lead foots and left-lane campers, the province wants to hear from you.

The B.C. government is reviewing speed limits for long stretches of highway, and Transportation Minister Todd Stone wants your feedback on how fast is fast enough.

The review is not supposed to be about increasing speed limits, but ensuring the province has the correct speed limits in place.

Stone, who sees the Coquihalla as a likely candidate for a speed-limit adjustment, says the goal is to ensure those who travel B.C.’s rural highways are able to do so as safely and efficiently as possible.

Sounds good. And no doubt, those 110 km/hr signs along the Coquihalla are already being interpreted by many a driver as 120 km/hr. In fact, it’s a safe bet that whatever the decided upon speed limit is, drivers will round up by 10.

The big question mark here is those behind the wheel.

Cars may be better constructed, but drivers – not necessarily so. Case in point, according to ICBC, distracted driving – typically fiddling with gadgets while driving – is the cause of about one-quarter of all traffic fatalities in the province. Do you want people texting while doing 130 kh/hr into the Great Bear Snowshed?

Speaking of cell phones, travel the Coquihalla in winter nd you’re certain to see SUVs ditched on the side of the road, their drivers out in the snow on the phone, presumably trying to contact roadside assistance.

One of the hazards of not driving to conditions.

Which leads us to hope that if speed limits are increased, highway traffic enforcement resources follow suit.

Black Press


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