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

Cooking with ‘Killer’

Reporter Dawn Gibson shares some of her favourite meals to make

Vic-Alert faces tidal wave of registration after tsunami warnings

City of Victoria system is free and provides early warnings of disaster

Tsunami warning after earthquake rattles Saanich residents

Scenes straight out of a disaster movie unfolded across Saanich Tuesday morning… Continue reading

Oak Bay reception centre at the ready for tsunami warning this morning

Local officials hold off on evacuation; warning ended shortly after 4 a.m.

Sirens don’t sing in tsunami warning for Esquimalt

Officials pleased with process, say sirens would have been activated had threat escalated.

WATCH: Greater Victoria residents gather at higher ground during tsunami warning

Ocean Boulevard and the Esquimalt Lagoon reopened shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday

Touring art from war-torn Syria on display at Cedar Hill

Behind the Lines: Contemporary Syrian Art, Jan. 24 to Feb. 5 at Cedar Hill Arts Centre

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victoria’s most wanted for the week of Jan. 23

Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrests or the seizure of property or drug

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Most Read