Video aims to debunk 'speed kills'

Retired Kamloops doctor supports push for higher speed limits

The Daily News and Vancouver Sun / Kamloops Daily News
September 13, 2013 01:00 AM

A retired Kamloops doctor who helped found Sense B.C. is encouraging drivers to watch a video produced by the group.

Speed Kills: Your Pocketbook, which pushes for higher speed limits, hit the Internet recently and so far has more than 300,000 views on YouTube.

"It's totally scientific," Dennis Karpiak said of the video.

He said hopes viewers will come away with an understanding of what really causes accidents.

The group would like to see speed limits set at 85 per cent of what people would drive if there were no limit at all. In the case of the Coquihalla that would work out to 130 km/h, said Karpiak, who was on the B.C. Medical Association's vehicle safety committee for a number of years.

Sense B.C. spokesman Ian Tootill told Postmedia News he isn't surprised that the group's sharply edited video is striking a chord among motorists.

"It's frustrating for everyone who's a driver," Tootill said. "Everybody intuitively knows that speed limits aren't right.

"Canada's a huge country, so everybody has to drive a long way to get where they're going."

For Tootill, a divided highway like the Coquihalla is ripe for a speed-limit increase - and Tootill's timing may be perfect.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone, a Kamloops MLA, and Premier Christy Clark, who represents a Kelowna riding, are asking ministry staff to review speed limits with an eye to increasing them. Driving times from Vancouver to Kamloops and Kelowna would drop substantially with an increase in the speed limit.

"The Coquihalla was built for speed," said Tootill. "It's designed to get people from the Lower Mainland to the Okanagan quickly.

"I travelled up there last weekend - the speed limit's 110, and I was doing 125 in the slow lane and people were passing me all drive long."

Tootill believes the video's support comes in part from the thousands of B.C. motorists who have lost their vehicles simply for driving too fast.

"We all live in constant fear - 18,000 B.C. drivers have had their cars impounded for speeding," said Tootill. "I think it's a pretty safe assumption not all those 18,000 are dangerous drivers."

He believes drivers need to focus on the important task of driving, making roads safer for all.

"We call it driving with purpose," said Tootill. "We don't think anyone should be driving while brushing their teeth, combing their hair, or texting."

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