Rural highway safety and speed review completed

Ministry takes actions to improve safety on rural highways

  • Jul. 9, 2014 8:00 p.m.

Following the province-wide Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) announced changes July 2 to help improve safety and mobility on British Columbia’s rural highways.

The review assessed four key aspects of road safety – setting appropriate speed limits, winter tires requirements, keeping right except to pass, and wildlife collisions.

There will be one speed-limit increase in this area, as Highway 97 north of Willow Drive in 70 Mile House to BCR Overpass in 100 Mile House (37 km) will be increased this summer from 100 km/h to 110 km/h.

Speed limits

The MOTI assessed 9,100 kilometres of rural provincial highway and the following decisions:

• Adjusted speed limits on 35 sections of highway covering 1,300 km.

• Introduced a new maximum speed of 120 km/h on certain sections of divided multi-lane highways.

• Pilot variable speed zones on sections of the Trans-Canada, Coquihalla and Sea-to-Sky highways.

• Committed to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of speed limits and safety measures with the Road Safety Executive Steering Committee, and improve the way data critical to identifying trends in highway safety is shared among its members.

Winter tires

The MOTI will take the following actions:

• Bring forward changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to clarify that Mud and Snow (M+S) and mountain/snowflake tires are defined as winter tires.

• Modernize the studded tire and chain regulations.

• Change the dates winter tires are required on high mountain passes to Oct. 1 to March 31 (was October 1 to April 30).

• Install new winter tire signs.

Keep right except to pass

The MOTI will take the following actions:

• Bring forward changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to give police better tools, through clearer language, to enforce the requirement for slower vehicles to keep right.

• Adopt new signage and pavement markings to increase voluntary compliance of keep-right requirements.


Wildlife collisions

The MOTI will take the following actions:

• Install gateway signs at the entrance to highway corridors with higher instances of wildlife collisions.

• Increase the use of flashing LED warning signs in high crash locations.

• Increase the use of wildlife fencing in high crash locations.

• Continue to monitor wildlife incidents, identify high-risk sections, and implement further measures as required.

Public consultation for the Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review took place from Nov. 29, 2013 to Jan. 24, 2014.


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