A third of British Columbians call for higher speed limit

39 per cent of drivers think the speed limit on British Columbia’s highways should be higher than it is

A sizeable proportion of British Columbians feel it is time to implement a higher speed limit on the province’s highways, a new Insights West poll conducted in partnership with Black Press has found.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample also shows that a majority of residents believe that photo radar should not be brought back.

Across the province, 37 per cent of residents (and 39 per cent of drivers) think the speed limit on British Columbia’s highways should be higher than it is, while more than half (55 per cent) believe it should stay the same, and just one-in-twenty (five per cent) want it to be lower.

“The fascinating issue on this question is the gender gap,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “While half of men in B.C. would like to see a higher speed limit, just one-in-four women concur with this view.”

More than half of British Columbians (53 per cent) and drivers (56 per cent) believe the province should not bring back photo radar, which was introduced in the 1990s as a measure to curb speeding, but was abandoned in 2001.

While almost half of residents aged 55 or older (48 per cent) would like to see photo radar come back, support is decidedly lower among residents aged 18-to-34 (36 per cent) and 35-to-54 (31 per cent).

“I supported photo radar initially because when used in high-collision locations, elsewhere in the world, it has a remarkable record for reducing death and injuries,” comments Driveway Editor Keith Morgan. “It never operated that way in BC and soon became public enemy number one where it was perceived as merely a cash cow for a greedy provincial government.”

Residents were also asked about the quality of British Columbia’s road and infrastructure. More than seven-in-ten (74 per cent) rate it as “good” (68 per cent) or “very good” (six per cent), while only 22 per cent deem it “bad” (19 per cent) or “very bad” (three per cent).

Overall, only 16 per cent of British Columbians believe that the province’s roads are “not too safe” or “not safe at all” for motorists, while four-in-five (82 per cent) consider them “very safe” or “moderately safe.”

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 23 to October 27, 2013, among 838 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here http://www.insightswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SpeedLimit_Tables.pdf.

Black Press is home to some of the oldest, most established newspapers in B.C. and Alberta, including the North Thompson Star/Journal and the Clearwater Times.  From rural voices in Chilliwack and Quesnel, to urban voices in Greater Vancouver, Victoria and Red Deer, market by market these are the leading newspapers in their respective communities. In print and online, these urban, suburban and rural newspapers provide clients a superior blend of localized news coverage and unmatched integrated marketing solutions.

Founded in 1975, Black Press now publishes more than 170 titles in British Columbia, Alberta and Washington state, as well as the Honolulu (Hawaii) Star-Advertiser, Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal and San Francisco (Calif.) Examiner daily newspapers. The company is administered and majority owned by David H. Black of Victoria, B.C.