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

Reel Reviews: Evil bloodlines and jewelry heists

We say, “Hereditary is refreshingly scary, Ocean’s 8 is familiarly okay.

Police say Salmon Arm youth who posted about shooting students no longer a threat

Group which alerted RCMP to tweets says it issued a Code Red, highest level of alert

Salmon Arm Secondary recognizes athletes at annual gala

Coaches and instructors present athlete of the year awards

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Fathers’ Day in the sun

Discovery House event draws a crowd to Penticton’s Skaha Lake Park

Book Talk: Okanagan beach reads

A cool, shady spot on the beach is a fine place to lose yourself in a book

Penticton Pistoleras seize second undefeated season

Penticton’s Pistoleras roller derby team wrapped up the season undefeated, thanks to… Continue reading

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Former Penticton Vee recovering in hospital

Pittsburgh Penguin prospect expected to make full recovery

UPDATE: RCMP investigating overnight incident on Lakeshore Road

Evidence markers noting blood stains on road

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

Most Read