A proposed review of highway speed limits is already drawing some fire and it hasn’t even pulled out of the garage yet.
B.C. New Democrat Claire Trevena questioned Transportation Minister Todd Stone’s plan — which could see speed limits on some highways increased by 10 km/h — saying there must be more important projects on the province’s radar.
The opposition transportation critic, Trevena already has a huge file on her desk filled with provincewide concerns about roads and infrastructure, she said.
She assumes a similar, larger file exists in Stone’s office.
“I hope that it’s not a make-work project,” Trevena told The Daily News on Wednesday. “I hope we are looking at the other concerns that are out there.”
Stone has instructed his staff to explore methods that could be used in a review of highway speed limits, with a focus on major provincial corridors.
He told The Daily News on Tuesday he sees highway speed as a priority, specifically on major routes like the Coquihalla. Stone said engineering and traffic-volume data suggests an increase could be warranted in some cases.
“There’s a pretty strong argument one can make that some current speed limits in some corridors are probably a bit lower than they could be,” said Stone.
Trevena said highways are engineered for a certain speed limit. Just because a stretch of asphalt straightens out, doesn’t mean vehicles should speed up.
“There are very specific reasons a speed limit has been set for that road,” she said. “The first issue has to be safety. There’s no question.”
Highway speed limits aren’t a burning issue for the B.C. Trucking Association. That said, a review isn’t something truckers are opposed to, said association vice president Trace Acres.
Acres hopes the province takes into account that speed limits are supposed to be the maximum allowable speed under ideal conditions.
RCMP declined to comment on Stone’s proposal. A decision on whether or not to proceed with the review will be made in the weeks ahead.