Saanich mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes wants to see Premier John Horgan “act swiftly” to improve road safety in B.C.

He penned a letter to Horgan Monday seeking speed changes within to the Motor Vehicle Act. The letter questions why statutory speed limits remain while local roads continue to see high fatality, crash, and injury rates. He goes further to say that not making changes to the act contradicts a number of provincial plans, studies, and publications.

Haynes said using local bylaws to change the local speed limits is possible, but would present a serious administrative and financial burden for municipal governments. He adds that the current “piecemeal nature” of changes being made to speed limits “lacks consistency, effectiveness and safety.” He said cost-effective, consistent and safer solutions can be made through updates to the provincial Motor Vehicle Act.

READ MORE: Head-on collision in Saanich draws attention to rural road safety

“We are looking for changes to your laws governing our roads to help end the epidemic of road crash fatalities, serious injuries, collisions, and near misses. We believe this is an opportunity for leadership from our Honourable Premier in directing action similar to the nation-leading impaired driving laws enacted in 2011 which were followed by an immediate and sustained drop in fatalities and serious injuries,” Haynes wrote.

The provincial plans, studies, and publications Haynes said are contradicted by inaction on lowering B.C. speed limits, include four B.C. government publications from the past three years. Haynes said local governments have been waiting for change since 2016 after the release of Moving to Vision Zero: Road Safety Strategy Update and Showcase of Innovation in British Columbia and the Provincial Health Officer’s publication, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Reducing the Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes on Health and Well-being in British Columbia.

Haynes said it was understandable some time had been allowed for those publications to circulate through government agencies, and for the early 2017 provincial election, but two more plans (Move Commute Connect from CleanBC, and the BC Active Transportation Design Guide) now provide the province with four planning documents to direct action on the issue.

READ MORE: Saanich residents feel less safe using local roads

“Road safety is not a political issue that can be continuously delayed and deferred, with endless studies and reports that wither with each change of government. We must do better. We can do better,” Haynes writes.

Horgan did not respond to a reqest for comment by deadline.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

Island Sexual Health expanding physical space and workforce

Island Health looking to hire more health care workers for centre once expansion complete

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read