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

RV lifestyle comes to the Okanagan

BC Interior RV Show returns to Penticton for the eighth year

Funding brings sigh or relief for Penticton Search and Rescue

Province announces a funding injection for operations, equipment and training

‘Cowardly acts’ towards homeless continue in Osoyoos

RCMP confirm they are investigating two incidents of assault on a homeless person

Turning an Okanagan hospital’s medical waste into art

Safe recycled waste materials are being used by local artists to create art

Total hogwash: Mr. Banks gives cars a piggy polish

Mr. Banks, who lives on the Critteraid farm in the Okanagan, was offering the service on the weekend

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

West Kelowna acquires land for Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant

The city has acquired 24 acres on Bartley Road

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read