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

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read