A stretch of Highway 1 in the Lower Mainland. The provincial government is considering speed limit changes on some highways.

More B.C. drivers want return of photo radar than higher speed limits: Poll

Push by drivers who want faster B.C. highways is up against gender, age divide: Insights West/Black Press poll

A new poll has found more B.C. residents support a return to photo radar than endorse higher speed limits on the province’s highways.

The Insights West poll conducted for Black Press found 37 per cent back higher highway speed limits, while 55 per cent said they should be kept the same and five per cent would lower them.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent support bringing back photo radar to help curb speeding, while 53 per cent were opposed.

The camera-equipped roadside vans automatically detected speeders and issued tickets by mail in the 1990s and were eliminated in 2001 by the incoming BC Liberal government.

The findings split sharply on gender lines, with women and older drivers much more likely to oppose higher speed limits and support photo radar speed enforcement.

Just 25 per cent of women said highway speed limits should be raised (65 per cent said they should stay the same), while 50 per cent of men were in favour of higher limits.

Among respondents aged 55 and up, 31 per cent supported higher limits, while twice as many – 62 per cent – said they shouldn’t change.

A third of men supported bringing back photo radar, while that jumped to 43 per cent among women and 48 per cent among those 55 and over – more than the 46 per cent in that age group who oppose its return.

Insights West vice-president Mario Canseco said the support for photo radar may be less about bringing back what many considered an unfair cash grab and more a reflection of frustration that other drivers break the law without being punished.

He said the results on speed limit reform show significant support for change, but added the gender gap was a surprise.

“Half of men driving out there say we’re just going too slow, we should be going a little bit faster. But they’re only supported by one in four women.”

Canseco said it appears those in favour of higher speed limits have so far been “a little bit louder” in rallying support than those worried about change.

But he suggested a measured, careful approach by the government to lift limits on selected routes may win yet majority support.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone kicked off a public review of B.C. rural highway speed limits last Friday with a series of eight regional public forums running to Jan. 24.

For details of the Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review or to register your comment, see http://engage.gov.bc.ca/safetyandspeedreview.

Stone has indicated the government may be prepared to raise speed limits on some rural highways, which are now mostly posted at 100 kilometres per hour, except for the 110 limit on the Coquihalla and parts of the Okanagan Connector.

Stone said research has shown the biggest danger are vehicles that are driving much faster or slower than the prevailing speed on the route.

“It’s not speed in and of itself which kills. It’s variations in speed,” he said.

Improved roads and vehicle safety are among the reasons he cites for potentially higher limits.

The review is also examining issues like the dangers of wildlife collisions, snow tire regulations and slower moving vehicles that don’t keep pace with traffic or clog passing lanes.

The government has repeatedly said it has no plans to reintroduce photo radar and Stone said the review won’t consider enforcement changes.

 

Safety Speed Discussion Guide

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Rossland St. Andrew’s United Church planning for restoration

Rossland’s United Church has received a CBT grant to support a restoration of the Red Roof Church.

Winlaw man dead after collision near Slocan Park

Nelson RCMP are asking for witnesses after Sunday incident

Rossland city council sorts things out with museum

The Rossland Museum Discovery Centre has been growing its funding sources.

Lots to love this week at Joe Hill Coffee House

Here’s more to love from Joe Hill Coffee House and our talented local performers.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada rounds out Day 11 earning gold in 2 more events

Comox Valley’s Cassie Sharpe and fan-favourites Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir all earned golds

Trudeau announces two-way $1 billion investment deal with India

Some of India’s biggest companies say they will invest more than $1 billion in Canada in the coming years

’60s Scoop group educates survivors, pushes rejection of federal settlement

Federal government’s compensation proposal includes $50 million for an Indigenous Healing Foundation

As ‘Black Panther’ shows, inclusion pays at the box office

At the box office, inclusion is paying — and often, it’s paying off big time

Washington senator wants B.C. to follow suit and phase out net-pen fish farms

An American ban will be less effective in the shared ecosystem of the Salish Sea, senator says

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

Most Read