The City of Victoria is taking a motion to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in September to reduce the speed limit on municipal roads in the province from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.
It’s a good start to an issue that needs to be addressed, but it sidesteps the root of the problem, which is people simply drive too fast regardless of posted limits.
Creating a new law that is unenforceable will do little to clamp down on the increasing number of leadfoots out there.
The only way to slow drivers down on residential streets – main arteries, highways and collectors are not part of the proposal – is to get police traffic services into neighbourhoods with radar guns ticketing speeders.
Today’s roads are built to accommodate much higher speeds than posted limits, so people are bound to drive faster.
Cars, with their airbags, anti-lock brake systems, four-wheel-drive and multitudes of other safety factors designed to protect occupants, give drivers the feeling of invincibility, though in reality those features are still designed with reasonable speeds in mind.
And even cars considered to be economy class are loaded with enough horsepower to comfortably travel well beyond maximum speed limits.
It’s unlikley lowering speed limits will do much to thwart chronic speeders. Besides, 50 km/h is a perfectly reasonable speed to travel throughout Nanaimo’s residential streets.
At 50 km/h, an attentive driver should be able to adequately brake and avoid most surprise situations.
Instead of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to change a bylaw, implement new signage and embark on an education campaign, it makes sense to address the problem at its root and enforce the perfectly good speed limits already in place.