LETTER: Lower speeds on rural roads

Re: Drivers must respect horses on rural roads in the Nov. 10 Saanich News. It is sad to hear that some (most?) drivers do not show respect for other road users. Unfortunately, the letter writer is in for a disappointment if she reports the licence number to Saanich Police. They will take no action, other than to, perhaps, write a warning letter to the vehicle owner.

In the future, if that vehicle is stopped for another driving offence, there is absolutely no guarantee that the officer will check to see if there is a warning on file. In this particular case, the police will be quick to point out that 45 km/h is below the posted speed limit, and it is only the horseback rider’s opinion whether the vehicle was being operated safely.

Residents of rural Saanich have been complaining for many years, both to the police and to Saanich council about the high speeds of cars, and also about the use of rural roads by heavy commercial trucks that are not making local deliveries. To date, no discernible action has been taken. One Saanich councillor, strangely enough also an equestrian, went so far as to suggest that we don’t have a problem, “It’s just your perception.”

This sad state of affairs makes a mockery of Saanich’s Healthy Living initiatives. The Active Transportation Plan should be renamed the Inactive Transportation Plan. In Saanich the car is king. All other road users are not welcome on Saanich streets. The cheapest possible solution is to lower speed limits on residential and rural streets, coupled with enforcement. Both things could be done immediately, without waiting for nebulous long-term plans. Don’t hold your breath. You are on your own.

Bob Etheridge

Saanich

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