B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes wants to see Premier John Horgan “act swiftly” to improve road safety in B.C.

He penned a letter to Horgan Monday seeking speed changes within to the Motor Vehicle Act. The letter questions why statutory speed limits remain while local roads continue to see high fatality, crash, and injury rates. He goes further to say that not making changes to the act contradicts a number of provincial plans, studies, and publications.

Haynes said using local bylaws to change the local speed limits is possible, but would present a serious administrative and financial burden for municipal governments. He adds that the current “piecemeal nature” of changes being made to speed limits “lacks consistency, effectiveness and safety.” He said cost-effective, consistent and safer solutions can be made through updates to the provincial Motor Vehicle Act.

READ MORE: Head-on collision in Saanich draws attention to rural road safety

“We are looking for changes to your laws governing our roads to help end the epidemic of road crash fatalities, serious injuries, collisions, and near misses. We believe this is an opportunity for leadership from our Honourable Premier in directing action similar to the nation-leading impaired driving laws enacted in 2011 which were followed by an immediate and sustained drop in fatalities and serious injuries,” Haynes wrote.

The provincial plans, studies, and publications Haynes said are contradicted by inaction on lowering B.C. speed limits, include four B.C. government publications from the past three years. Haynes said local governments have been waiting for change since 2016 after the release of Moving to Vision Zero: Road Safety Strategy Update and Showcase of Innovation in British Columbia and the Provincial Health Officer’s publication, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Reducing the Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes on Health and Well-being in British Columbia.

Haynes said it was understandable some time had been allowed for those publications to circulate through government agencies, and for the early 2017 provincial election, but two more plans (Move Commute Connect from CleanBC, and the BC Active Transportation Design Guide) now provide the province with four planning documents to direct action on the issue.

READ MORE: Saanich residents feel less safe using local roads

“Road safety is not a political issue that can be continuously delayed and deferred, with endless studies and reports that wither with each change of government. We must do better. We can do better,” Haynes writes.

Horgan did not respond to a reqest for comment by deadline.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Letter to the editor: Quesnel Cattlemen’s Association raise concerns over West Fraser Road detour

The association is “deeply concerned” about the condition of the detour route

College of New Caledonia budget consultation session will be Jan. 31

The public consultation session will take place Friday, Jan. 31 at 3:30 p.m.

Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run participants re-live part of Cariboo history

Mushers will be sworn in as official mail carriers Jan. 24 at 9 a.m. in downtown Quesnel

Forestry Ink: Developing a local market for biochar

Regular columnist Jim Hilton shares more information about biochar

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Most Read