Highway Speed Limit Changes No Impact on Crash Rates
Image courtesy Ministry of Transportation
Prince George, B.C. – A review of the impact of speed changes on some B.C. Highways has mixed results.
The Province had conducted a major review and consultation process before deciding to change the limits on some highways in B.C. There were no speed increases on highways north of 100 Mile House .
Since the speed limits were increased on 33 sections of highways in the Province, the number of serious collisions has increased on seven of those sections where the limits were increased, but the major contributing factor was not the speed, rather it was distracted driving.
28% of all crashes in these areas were primarily caused by distracted driving up from 22% of crashes in the previous decade. Driving faster than the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in only 2% of the crashes.
The Coquihalla from Hope to Kamloops, where the speed limit was increased from 110 kilometres per hour to 120 km/h, continues to see the lowest crash rate in the last 10 years.
“Of particular interest, the data shows that we saw the crash rate increase on seven sections of highway where people were actually travelling slower,” said Minister of Transportation Todd Stone “This suggests again that there are many different factors that can lead to crashes and speed is only one of them.”
It’s too early to say if the initial data indicates a trend. Researchers who produced the review say they would need data from three years to pin point trends.