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Province to review speed limits on major highways

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – After much debate, speed limits could soon change on several major highways in BC, including the Coquihalla.  The provincial government has launched a review and wants to hear from drivers.

The transportation ministry says the review is focusing on the longer sections of provincial highway between communities.

However, if through the consultation they are asked to look at areas of provincial highway through communities, the ministry says it will certainly do so.

Limits could go either up or down as early as next spring.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the province wants the public’s feedback, but will also reach out to police, the BC Trucking Association, ICBC and some experts.

“If it is identified that there are sections of particular corridors that may be candidates for a reduction in the speed limit then we will consider that as well,” he adds.

Louise Yako with the BC Trucking Association supports the review but says you won’t see semis speeding up and down highways.  “Most responsible trucking companies govern the speeds of their trucks already, so I doubt any change that takes place in terms of posted highway speed limits will affect the way trucks are being operated today.”

She adds, her organization has not decided what to tell the province yet.

Stone says safety history, the weather and volume will all be factors to be considered.  “I want to stress that the safety of the public on our highways is our number one priority.  This review is not about increasing speed limits, it’s about ensuring we have the right speed limits.”

The Coquihalla and Island Highway are tops on the list and Stone wouldn’t say by how much if at all, limits could go up.

The government also wants to know what the public thinks should be done to reduce the number of wildlife-related crashes on rural highways.

The last major review of speed limits in BC was done in 2003.