Victoria City Council would like to see the speed limit of municipal streets across British Columbia lowered to 40 kilometres per hour from 50 kilometres per hour as a way to create safer streets, according to a report in the Victoria Times Colonist.
Currently, the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act stipulates a speed limit of 50 km/h within municipalities and 80 km/h outside municipalities unless otherwise posted. Victoria City Council is hoping to get the support of other B.C. municipalities to draft a resolution at the at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention this September to amend the Motor Vehicle Act to lower the speed limit.
Update (August 23, 2013): The topic of lowering the municipal speed limit to 40 km/h will be debated and voted upon at September’s UBCM convention.
Victoria City Councillor Ben Isitt says while their proposal calls for the reduction of the municipal speed limit, they would like to see the speed limits of major routes to remain the same. In essence, only residential roads will be affected. He argues, “high speeds are not appropriate [on residential roads] and where the safety of children, seniors, cyclists, and other road users should take priority.”
The report notes the European Parliament adopted a resolution last year urging its member nations to implement 30 km/h speed limits on its roads as a way to reduce automobile-related deaths.
In Vancouver, the speed limit on Hastings Street between Abbott Street and Jackson Avenue was lowered to 30 km/h in 2011 after a string of pedestrian deaths. Streets designated as bike routes also carry a 30 km/h speed limit. All other streets are officially 50 km/h zones, but it is not uncommon to see drivers at their discretion driving 30-40 km/h in residential streets due to the limited visibility from the number of parked cars and trees.
Would you support lowering the municipal speed limit to 40 km/h? Are drivers using enough discretion?
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