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BC Increases Speed Limits on Some Rural Highways

LANGLEY, BC — British Columbia's Ministry of Transportation has increased speed limits on some rural B.C. highways to 120 km/h.

B.C. speed limit changes:

  • Adjust the speed limit on 35 sections of highway covering 1,300 km (about 15 percent of the length of highway reviewed);
  • Introduce 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;
  • Commit to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of speed limits and safety measures with the Road Safety Executive Steering Committee.
  • Improve the way that data critical to identifying trends in highway safety is shared among all Road Safety Executive Steering Committee members.

The changes are a result of the province-wide Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review, which also covers winter tires, keeping right except to pass and wildlife collisions. 

But whether or not trucks will be driving faster is yet to be seen. For its part, the B.C. Trucking Association has opposed the speed increase.

“When we surveyed our truck and motor coach members regarding the speed review, they indicated there was no appetite for higher speed limits,” said Louise Yako , president of CEO of BCTA.

“Carrying freight or passengers from one place to another quickly is important, but getting them there safely is more important,” Yako said.

Higher speed limits increases both fuel consumption and braking distances, the BCTA explained.

“Safety is our top priority,” Yako said. “We understand that in deciding to increase speed limits on selected rural highways, the ministry carefully considered safety performance, current travel speeds, road engineering and comments from the public. But, people can make mistakes and use poor judgment. To ensure everyone stays safe, drivers of passenger cars need to understand how to share the road with heavy commercial vehicles.”

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In a Province that is so concerned with the environment do they know that higher speeds increase fuel usage in all vehicles so GHG will be higher. Maybe we should put in a "high speed" pipeline to get oil and gas to the west coast of Canada.