Letter: Speed limit shouldn’t have been raised

No need to study traffic speed and accidents

To the editor,

I was sad to hear and read a headline today. In part:

B.C. is immediately lowering speed limits on 15 sections of highway in the province, weeks after a study found deadly crashes had doubled on roadways that had their limits raised. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced the backpedal in Victoria on Tuesday morning, saying the move is to reduce the likelihood of speed-related collisions in the province. “We are making every effort now … to make sure that people can travel safely on our highways,” she said. “Nobody should be dying on our highways.”

From a letter I sent to the Ministry of Transport in 2016:

Who are the people in your department making these decisions that affect us negatively? Perhaps some fools among us did not like slowing down? Isn’t this a stupid reason to compromise safety? I’m not impressed, and I assume your department can roll out all sorts of numbers and reasons for having people drive faster through the residential portions of my town. That does not make it right. There are unknowns, and you must accept (and indeed embrace) some ignorance when it comes to predicting driving situations under some blanket policy across the province. I’m telling you, there is a black swan here, and increasing the speed through my town in 2016 is simply hubris. I’m very disappointed, although I accept there will likely be people only too happy to drive faster through town. Your policy is going to hurt people! I’m not some curmudgeon pining for the old days. Simply put, I want you to prevent — not contribute to — accidents. You have failed in this situation.

It makes it difficult to trust our government when our own Ministry of Transport lacks understanding of the relationship between speed and accidents. They need to study “deadly crashes” after raising the speed limit to figure this out? Someone or some group in our civil service/government has liability here.

Who and where are they? Transport Minister Claire Trevena makes no mention of the government incompetence that led to these deaths? Sad.

Paul Girard


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