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

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Kelowna woman fights off nighttime intruder

Kelowna RCMP are investigating a break-and-enter on Richter Street

Morning Start: Naps could save your life

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 9, 2020

Building to begin on Okanagan Rail Trail washroom

Project starts Monday, July 13, in Coldstream between Westkal Road and Kickwillie Loop

Ex-Vernon Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Pure magic: live performances revived in Revelstoke

Revelstoke Arts Council hosting Guerrilla Gigs on Wednesdays all summer long

Penticton photographer publishes book showcasing resilience of Okanagan people

Okanagan Strong showcases the bravery of many during crisis; from COVID-19, to floods, and fires

Summerland steam train to begin operations

Reduced schedule, physical distancing planned for Kettle Valley Steam Railway beginning July 18

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Kelowna woman shares story of alleged dog attack

Resident Yuli Lavigne alleges the incident happened on Monday, July 6

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Successful first week for Okanagan ride-sharing, service expansion underway

The service is expanding to Peachland, Lake Country, Penticton and Vernon by the end of July

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read