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Increased speed limits cause havoc on province’s highways

Critics say the B.C. government should reverse its speed limit increases after accidents went up.

Speeding is, along with impaired driving and distracted driving, one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in British Columbia. That’s why the decision to increase the speed limit along dozens of sections of highway in 2014 was met with plenty of worry and consternation by safety and health officials. According to CBC News, the decision to increase those speed limits may have led to a significant increase in serious car accidents along many of the stretches of highway that were affected by the speed limit increase.

Accidents increase along 14 segments

The British Columbia government raised the speed limit – usually by 10 km/h – along 33 sections of highway in 2014. Those increased speed limits were supposed to reflect the fact that many drivers were already flouting existing speed limits. Critics, however, contended that increasing the speed limit would simply encourage drivers to speed even more and would thus endanger the lives of motorists and their passengers.

Earlier this year figures showed that serious car accidents did indeed increase along many of the sections of highway where the speed limit was raised. In fact, 14 such segments saw an increase in traffic accidents. Furthermore, as the Globe and Mail reports, although serious accidents rose throughout British Columbia by nine percent, along highways where the speed limit was increased accidents leading to serious injury or death rose by 11 percent.

Should speed limits be rolled back?

Not surprisingly, many critics say those figures show it is time for the increased speed limits to be rolled back. While the provincial government has decided to reduce speed limits along two sections of highway, they say the increased limits elsewhere will be allowed to stand. The government will, however, be focusing on other safety measures along those segments, including digital signs, variable speed limits during congestion, and new rumble strips.

Safety and engineering experts insist, however, that the increased speed limits are responsible for more deaths and injuries on B.C.’s highways. They point out that the 11 percent increase cannot be attributed to other factors, such as drinking and driving or distracted driving. They also note that drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles when travelling at high speeds and to require greater time and distance to react to obstacles or come to a stop.

Involved in an accident?

Anybody who has been involved in an accident will know just how frightening and, at times, overwhelming an experience it can be. While compensation can help mitigate some of the financial pressure an accident can lead to, dealing with ICBC is not always easy. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer can assist crash victims with their ICBC claims and fight to help them get compensated for the ordeal they have been through.

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