The Mayor of Lions Bay says he is continuing to advocate for the use of Average-Speed-Over-Distance (ASOD) highway corridors.

Mayor Karl Buhr has been advocating for the technology for the last two years with Council’s endorsement to the Ministry of Transport, provincial government and local municipalities. According to the Mayor the idea would be to both offer a safety measure for the high accident rate on the Sea to Sky highway and to reduce noise for the community of Lions Bay.

ASOD first takes a photo of all vehicles passing a camera at a first measuring point, a second photo of all vehicles is then taken when passing a second camera and measuring point. The distance between the two measuring points is at least 2 km and the sum ‘average speed = distance ÷ travel time’ is used to determine if the vehicle was speeding. Further down the road a warning light will flash if the vehicle was speeding. Photos of those who where driving legally are then automatically deleted.

Buhr says that the recent replacement of 1.4 kilometres of landscaped median with concrete barriers; “likely won’t affect speeds, but we hope it will eliminate crossover accidents”. The Lions Bay Mayor says Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure (MOTI) stats show that the 8 km administrative section of road centered on the community accounts for half of all motor vehicle accidents in the 27 km of highway from Horseshoe Bay to Furry Creek.

In a presentation that was also given to provincial officials the Mayor states that the MOTI reports that 85% of motorists are traveling between 85-110 km/h through the 60 km/h zone that runs through the community. “On the strength of this study, Lions Bay Council has just requested MOTI to evaluate removal of the 60 km/h zone, given it has no effect and may indeed be counterproductive: drivers may see 60 as so unlikely that they assume all the limits are mis-posted. If this change works technically with ramp length, bends and sight lines, the speed limit through Lions Bay would go from 90 to 70 and back to 90” says Buhr.

When it comes to speed control along the highway the Mayor claims locals are “virtually unanimous” in their support for it. He sights the financial and emotional costs of servicing accidents, along with the engine noise that increases in the summer as the weather improves. Lions Bay Fire Rescue, a volunteer service averages approximately 6.2 highway calls a month with roughly 76% requiring rescue/extrication.

Lions Bay has asked the MOTI for long term noise measurement and to investigate signage that might help to reduce noise through the community while ASOD is investigated by the province.

Buhr believes the last government viewed ASOD as a political hot potato too close to photo radar, but says the new government has been more receptive. He claims compliance with the speed limit using ASOD is near 100%, using several other countries as examples (UK, France, Norway) that have successfully implemented the practice; “Some people in BC would support a return to photo radar, but with ASOD the issue is moot. I think it’s fair to say most people would support ASOD: it works, and it’s fair”.


Filed under: Average Speed Over Distance, BC, Highway 99, Lions Bay, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Sea to Sky, Sea to Sky Highway