Saanich mayor calls on province to lower speed limits in residential areas

WatchA 50 km/h speed limit in residential areas is not low enough according to Saanich mayor Fred Haynes. He wants the province to review the Motor Vehicle Act so municipalities can have more control over how fast drivers go. Jasmine Bala reports.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes wants B.C. drivers to slow down in residential neighbourhoods.

“Residential speeds at 50, we think should be lower,” said Haynes. “Should they be 40, should they be 30? Some mayors were asking for 30, others were thinking 40.”

Haynes wants the provincial government to review the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA). In a letter addressed to Premier John Horgan, Haynes writes: “We question why outdated statutory speed limits are retained while we continue to see unacceptable fatalities, collisions, and serious injury rates on our roads.”

The MVA, Haynes noted, needs to be modernized.

“The Motor Vehicle Act is from the 1990s. It’s 30 years old,” he explained. “Meanwhile there’s been changes in vehicles, vehicle science, density and types of roads.”

Haynes’ letter comes after a number of vehicle-related incidents on Prospect Lake Road, including a fatal crash in September when a motorcyclist collided with a pickup truck. A similar request was made at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention this year asking the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to implement blanket speed zones in residential areas.

The ministry’s response to the municipalities noted it would result in a difficult to enforce patchwork of speed zones as motorists may not know the applicable speed limits.

“On that basis, we would say then the province needs to look at the Motor Vehicle Act and do it province-wide,” said Haynes, adding that his new letter to the premier reflects that.

In a statement to CHEK News, the ministry said they have committed to reviewing the MVA and want to work with municipalities to create policies and plans that work for them.

Saanich council will vote on Haynes’ letter in their Monday meeting.

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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