Province lowers speed limits on 2 highways after 11% jump in serious collisions
UBC professor says other factors are not at play: increased speed is the problem
The Ministry of Transportation is rolling back speed limits along two sections of highway where speed limits were increased in 2014.
And while speed is decreasing in those two sections, government staff found crash rates increased in a total of 14 of the 33 sections of highway with raised speed limits.
Despite these findings, Minister of Transportation Todd Stone says increasing speed limits was not a mistake.
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"There are two segments where we believe a rollback in the speed is appropriate," he said.
"We are going to undertake on each and every one of those 14 segments of highway to first and foremost employ as many additional engineering initiatives and strategies as possible to … keep the collision rate down."
Highway 1 from Hope to Cache Creek will return to 90 km/h from 100 km/h and Highway 5A from Princeton to Merritt will return to 80 km/h from 90.
Stone says on the rest of the 14 roads there will be changes including better signage and variable speed zones to lower speeds during times when roads are congested.
'Lots of the studies are showing the same thing'
UBC professor of engineering Tarek Sayed analyzed the data as well and he found crashes are up 11 percent along sections of highway where speed limits were increased.
"Generally, I'm not a big fan of increasing speed limits," Sayed said. "Lots of the studies are showing the same thing: after increasing the speed limits we get an increase in injury and fatal collisions."
Sayed says that his analysis looked at other factors in collisions like distracted driving and road conditions and was able to eliminate their influence on the statistics to arrive at his conclusion.