Certain sections of Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke are going to be moving a little more quickly, or at least that’s what the proposed speed limit increases are meant to accomplish.
After a recent review by the Province, the government has increased speed limits on 35 sections of B.C. highways, totalling about 1,300 kilometres.
Excluding the sections of highway that go through the national parks, the stretch of Highway 1 between Highway 23 North near Revelstoke, and Anderson Road near Golden will see an increase from 90 km/h to 100 km/h.
Highway 95 south of Golden has not been affected at all by the changes.
The most significant increase will be seen on the Coquihalla where sections will be increased to 120 km/h.
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.
The recent provincial review, which surveyed residents, showed that 61 per cent of drivers wanted the speed limit increased between Golden and Revelstoke, while only two per cent wanted it decreased.
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.
In northern B.C., 52 per cent of people taking part in public consultation did not support speed limit increases, and that region will not see changes. All other regions had support, the highest in the Lower Mainland at 81 per cent.
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 per cent since 2003, from a combination of improved vehicle technology, driver education and enforcement.
Based on RCMP recommendations, there will also be a new signage program, with better signage regarding mandatory winter tire use, more signs asking slower drivers to stay in the right hand lane, and a pilot project where signs advising motorists with more than five vehicles following to pull over.
“Safety on our highways is our number one priority, and is the foundation for every decision that has resulted from this review. The actions we’re taking were the subject of a thorough technical review by our engineers, and the ministry is committed to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of speed limits and other highway safety measures,” said Stone.