Sign crew posts new speed limit Wednesday on the Okanagan Connector

Speed limits going up around B.C.

A new 120 km/h limit on three stretches of divided highway, other limits raised on southern highways

The B.C. government is raising speed limits around southern B.C., including a new 120 km/h limit on remote stretches of divided four-lane highway.

The new maximum applies to the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Kamloops, the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97C) from Aspen Grove to Peachland and Highway 19 from Parksville to Campbell River. The Coquihalla sections get new 120 km/h signs this week, and more changes will roll out this summer as sign crews put up new limits.

In all, 35 sections of rural provincial highway totalling 1,300 km are getting higher speed limits. Transportation Minister Todd Stone said limits are being raised where traffic studies show the vast majority of traffic is already going faster than the posted limit.

A pilot project will test variable speed limits depending on volume and weather conditions. Digital signs that can display different limits will be tested on sections of the Trans-Canada, Coquihalla and Sea-to-Sky highways.

The Sea-to-Sky Highway gets an increase from 80 to 90 km/h from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish. Other increases are 80 to 100 km/h on Highway 3 from Manning Park West to Allison Pass, 90 to 100 km/h from Revelstoke to Golden and 100 to 110 km/h on Highway 97C from Merritt to Aspen Grove.

In northern B.C., 52% of people taking part in public consultation did not support speed limit increases. All other regions had support, the highest in the Lower Mainland at 81%.

RCMP opposed increasing speed limits on rural highways. ICBC representatives also expressed safety concerns, and will monitor areas with higher limits to see if the severity of crashes increases.

Ministry statistics show the number of serious crashes on provincial highways has decreased 28% since 2003, from a combination of improved vehicle technology, driver education and enforcement.

The ministry accepted recommendations from RCMP representatives to improve signs to encourage slower traffic to move to right lanes, and clarifying winter tire rules. The ministry is changing regulations to make tires with an “M&S” (mud and snow) symbol as well as those with a “mountain snowflake” (winter) symbol are acceptable for roads requiring winter tires.

New designs for wildlife warning signs, including lighted signs for high incident areas, are being installed.

An updated sign reminding drivers to “Keep Right, Let Others Pass” is being installed, after people around the province expressed frustration about the slow vehicles in passing lanes.

 

Just Posted

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in Fraser Health area

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

Hope filmmaker showing back-to-back documentaries Thursday

B.C. premiere of Edna’s Bloodline to be shown, followed by local historical doc Canyon War

Two RiverMonsters to represent at weekend swim championships

Swimmers Eli Reist and Violette Freimark heading to Aug. 13 to 19 competition in Surrey

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Reported home invasion led to seven arrests in Maple Ridge

Port Coquitlam home invasion suspects tracked to Albion neighbourhood

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

Coffee chain plans to open 1,500 stores in Asia over the next decade

How to help B.C. wildfire victims

Donations being taken by many organizations, BC Hydro waiving bills

5 to start your day

Mt. Hicks fire near Agassiz 15% contained, man dead in Surrey motorcycle incident and more

Two 23-year-old men die in separate Surrey motorcycle crashes in three days

One man died Thursday night after his motorcycle crashed on Highway 10, and another man died following a Tuesday crash

Whole city of Kimberley on an evacuation alert due to wildfires

Residents woke up Friday morning being told to get ready to leave any moment

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

Most Read