Reduced speed limits will reduce pedestrian impacts. It might not be the silver bullet but it’s definitely part of the solution.
The City of Victoria announced recently that it will seek the support of other B.C. municipalities to set lower default speed limits in urban areas.
In many pedestrian impacts, even when travelling at low speed and turning at intersections, drivers feel pressured by the traffic behind them or, in the case of a left turn, the oncoming traffic, travelling at 50 km/h or more.
Studies on the issue show that, where lower speed limits have been applied in residential and urban areas, accidents, both severe and non-severe, have gone down substantially. Recent results (2010) from Edmonton pilot projects clearly show this.
Aside from the obvious safety enhancement, reducing speed limits will also bring with it many other benefits for all road users, including drivers.
Slowing down will increase livability and result in better health for residents, pedestrians and cyclists. Add reduced noise levels and little or no increase in travel time for motorists. It’s a win-win situation and the sooner we implement a pilot project in this city, the sooner it can be proven.