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B.C. eyes higher speed limits, increased enforcement

VICTORIA, B.C. -- The province of B.C. is considering raising speed limits, while at the same time hiring up to 100...

VICTORIA, B.C. — The province of B.C. is considering raising speed limits, while at the same time hiring up to 100 new police officers to enforce traffic laws.

Rich Coleman, Solicitor General for the province recently told local media he plans on developing a provincial traffic enforcement team that will patrol highways, operate speed tracks and road checks.

“Our intention is to have an integrated traffic unit up and running as soon as we can hire the police officers early in the new year,” Coleman told reporters. “We can have the critical mass of people that can actually be out there on the streets and highways of B.C. … so we can push back against some of the problems we have.”

At the same time, the Ministry of Transportation is taking a good look at raising the speed limit on provincial roads from 110 km/h to 120 km/h. That’s based on suggestions from a consultant’s report, which was recently released. The report also suggests decreasing speed limits on dangerous mountain roads while posting advisory speed limits at nights in areas frequented by wildlife.

On rural roads, the province is considering eliminating posted speed limits altogether, instead requiring motorists to drive at "a reasonable and prudent" speed, depending on road conditions.

“It’s government’s obligation to always look at speed limits. Roads change, roads become congested. It is an evolving dynamic,” said Transportation Minister, Judith Reid. “Our number one priority is safety combined with common sense.”

Ian Tootill, executive director of the Society for Safety by Education Not Speed Enforcement agreed.

“Some of our roads are under-posted by 20 km/h,” Tootill told local media. “If you have a limit that is respected by people, they will pay attention to it.”

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