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2 areas of highway will have lower speeds to reduce car crashes

The Ministry of Transportation has lowered the speed limit in two areas where the speed limit was increased two years ago. Although the lower speeds may be considered an annoyance for drivers, it could save lives.

The Ministry of Transportation has found that 14 of the areas where highway speeds were increased have also experienced an increase in motor vehicle crashes -- an 11 per cent increase to be exact. Nevertheless, officials do not believe that increasing the speed limit in all of these areas was a mistake. It is just in two areas where they do feel it is necessary to rollback speeds.

For the other areas of highway, they plan to implement additional engineering strategies and initiatives to lower the crash rate. Those changes could include better signs and variable speed areas in parts that experience congestion.

On Highway 1, from Cache Creek to Hope, the speed limit will go back to 90 km/h instead of its previous 100 km/h. Furthermore, on Highway 5A, from Merritt to Princeton, the speed will lower back to 80 km/h from its previous 90 km/h.

Although many drivers enjoy having higher speeds on the roadway, studies show that increasing speed limits will increase the rate of fatal collisions and injuries. Indeed, a speed of just 5 km/h more means that drivers will have less time to react to and avoid potential accident scenarios. Also, if a collision happens, the g-forces involved will be stronger, vehicle damage will increase and injuries will also be more severe as a consequence.

British Columbia drivers and passengers hurt by drivers who fail to follow speed limit laws can seek financial compensation in court for their injuries. Although no amount of litigation will ever right the wrong of being hurt by someone else's negligence, a lawsuit could be a way to recover money to pay for medical care, disability, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Source: CBC News, "Province lowers speed limits on 2 highways after 11% jump in serious collisions," Meera Bains and Liam Britten, June 28, 2016

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