For the speeders, limit never high enough

Raising the speed limits on B.C. highways is completely unnecessary. We’re surprised that the provincial government has elected to do so against the urging of the B.C. Trucking Association.

With transport trucks making up such a large component of the traffic on our major highways, the province should have heeded their warnings. It’s foolish not to.

Police have also expressed concern about a possible increase in frequency and severity of crashes.

There are several important drawbacks of raising the speed limit, and not much to recommend the plan, except making speeders, who already show their contempt for the rules of the road, feel like they can go even faster.

Because there’s the rub. For those who speed, it will never be fast enough.

If the limit is 80 km/h they will go 100 or even 120. If the speed is 120, well, they’ll go 130 km/h or 140, rather than the 120 they were doing before.

It’s an ever-spiralling menace. And far too many people treat the speed limit as the minimum, not the maximum that it represents in good road conditions.

The comments of the truckers association bring to mind a youtube video that went viral this past winter. It was taken by the dashboard camera in a transport truck. It showed the driver of that truck almost run off the road by another truck driver as that driver attempted to pass another vehicle on a snowy road, on a hill, with a curve ahead and truck number one headed straight for them.

What is really striking is the ignorance demonstrated in the comments below the video. Many viewers, presumably also drivers, criticized the first truck driver for not slamming on his brakes and stopping before the other truck – in the wrong lane – got so close.

Clearly far too many people do not understand the laws of physics that govern a large truck in motion. These vehicles cannot stop on a dime, and the faster they go, the longer it takes them to slow and stop in an emergency situation. That number just gets higher on slick roads.

Another very good argument against raising the speed limits is what it will cost drivers. It’s simple math. Fuel costs go up as your car goes faster. With our rising gas prices, it’s no small potatoes for many of us.

On Vancouver Island the highway between Parksville and Campbell River will see a speed increase to 120 km/h. The speed limit there is already 110 km/h. What was wrong with that?

Between Cowichan Bay and the Nanaimo airport on the Trans Canada Highway, where speed limits vary wildly from 90 km/h in some sections to 50 km/h through Duncan, some 80 km/h sections will become 90 km/h. Slow down, smell the roses. Try not to get yourself killed.