A stretch of Highway 1 in the Lower Mainland. The provincial government is considering speed limit changes on some highways.

A stretch of Highway 1 in the Lower Mainland. The provincial government is considering speed limit changes on some highways.

More B.C. drivers want return of photo radar than higher speed limits: Poll

Push by drivers who want faster B.C. highways is up against gender, age divide: Insights West/Black Press poll

A new poll has found more B.C. residents support a return to photo radar than endorse higher speed limits on the province’s highways.

The Insights West poll conducted for Black Press found 37 per cent back higher highway speed limits, while 55 per cent said they should be kept the same and five per cent would lower them.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent support bringing back photo radar to help curb speeding, while 53 per cent were opposed.

The camera-equipped roadside vans automatically detected speeders and issued tickets by mail in the 1990s and were eliminated in 2001 by the incoming BC Liberal government.

The findings split sharply on gender lines, with women and older drivers much more likely to oppose higher speed limits and support photo radar speed enforcement.

Just 25 per cent of women said highway speed limits should be raised (65 per cent said they should stay the same), while 50 per cent of men were in favour of higher limits.

Among respondents aged 55 and up, 31 per cent supported higher limits, while twice as many – 62 per cent – said they shouldn’t change.

A third of men supported bringing back photo radar, while that jumped to 43 per cent among women and 48 per cent among those 55 and over – more than the 46 per cent in that age group who oppose its return.

Insights West vice-president Mario Canseco said the support for photo radar may be less about bringing back what many considered an unfair cash grab and more a reflection of frustration that other drivers break the law without being punished.

He said the results on speed limit reform show significant support for change, but added the gender gap was a surprise.

“Half of men driving out there say we’re just going too slow, we should be going a little bit faster. But they’re only supported by one in four women.”

Canseco said it appears those in favour of higher speed limits have so far been “a little bit louder” in rallying support than those worried about change.

But he suggested a measured, careful approach by the government to lift limits on selected routes may win yet majority support.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone kicked off a public review of B.C. rural highway speed limits last Friday with a series of eight regional public forums running to Jan. 24.

For details of the Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review or to register your comment, see http://engage.gov.bc.ca/safetyandspeedreview.

Stone has indicated the government may be prepared to raise speed limits on some rural highways, which are now mostly posted at 100 kilometres per hour, except for the 110 limit on the Coquihalla and parts of the Okanagan Connector.

Stone said research has shown the biggest danger are vehicles that are driving much faster or slower than the prevailing speed on the route.

“It’s not speed in and of itself which kills. It’s variations in speed,” he said.

Improved roads and vehicle safety are among the reasons he cites for potentially higher limits.

The review is also examining issues like the dangers of wildlife collisions, snow tire regulations and slower moving vehicles that don’t keep pace with traffic or clog passing lanes.

The government has repeatedly said it has no plans to reintroduce photo radar and Stone said the review won’t consider enforcement changes.

 

Safety Speed Discussion Guide

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

lotto max logo
Are you the lucky winner?

A $1 million ticket was bought in Burns Lake for Friday’s Lotto… Continue reading

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read