The Province has announced that some highway speed limit increases that were put in place more than four years ago are being dialed back.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena was in Victoria on Tuesday to make the announcement.

The news comes after a University of British Columbia study that was released last month revealed fatal crashes have doubled on some highways where faster speeds are permitted. Trevena called the data startling and said staff were examining the limits to see if they were appropriate in all areas.

The report reviewed all contributing factors in serious highway collisions, and found that the top three factors where speed limits were changed were; driver inattentiveness, road conditions and driving too fast for the conditions. The report also found that between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish on average, vehicles involved in serious collisions were documented at 16 km/h over the limit, an increase of 6.3% in speed related collisions per year, with an overall total of +18.9%.

Statistics from Squamish to Whistler show drivers were 7 km/h over the limit, an increase of 2.4% in speed related collisions per year giving an overall total of +8.4%. The report also details that motorists driving from Whistler to Pemberton involved in serious collisions were not documented as exceeding the speed limit, but speed related collisions increased by 3.3% per year with an overall increase of 51.8%.

In total the government is lowering speeds on 15 sections of highway across the province, totaling 570 kilometers. All changes will see a 10 km/h decrease.

Locally the the Sea to Sky Highway will be effected from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton, with Horseshoe Bay to Squamish reduced from 90 km/h to an 80 km/h zone, Squamish to Whistler dropping from 100 km/h to 90 km/h and Whistler to Pemberton moving from a 90 km/h to an 80 kilometre an hour limit.

The Ministry of Transportation says speed limit changes will begin immediately, and will likely be finished by the end of the week, taking into account changing weather conditions that could delay the process. There are 339 signs that need to be changed throughout the province.


Filed under: Highway 99, Pemberton, Sea to Sky, Sea to Sky Highway, Squamish, Whistler