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

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read