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Should speed limits in Vancouver be reduced?

In our last post we focused on the issues that are often to blame for fatal traffic accidents in British Columbia. Specifically we noted distracted driving, impaired driving and speed are the top three contributing factors. As a part of that report, which was issued by the Provincial Health Officer, recommendations for how to improve safety on the province’s road are offered. One of those recommendations is to reduce the speed limits in Vancouver.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to determining the optimum speed at which vehicles in Vancouver should travel. Some believe that it is best for the speed to be determined by how fast 85 percent of vehicles on area roads travel in conditions where the weather and visibility are optimal. Among other things, a basis of this theory is that the drivers on the road are prudent and reasonable.

The doctor behind this report offers a different approach. He bases his theory on the severity of injuries pedestrians suffer when they are struck by a vehicle traveling at various speeds. The report indicates when a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling 50 km/h, the risk of that individual dying is 80 per cent. Conversely, when they are struck by a car that is being driven at 30 km/h the risk is much lower—just 10 per cent. Accordingly, the report recommends lowering the speed limit to 30km/h.

Anytime anyone is injured in a motor vehicle accident there is the possibility the injuries could be severe. When someone is hurt so severely that their lives are dramatically impacted physically, emotionally and financially, and negligence on the part of another is to blame, a lawsuit may make sense.

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