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

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

COVID-19: Old Massett Emergency Operations Centre erects three checkpoints

Old Massett Village Council letter says checkpoint locations are New Town, Yakan Point, Old Massett

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read