Long traffic tie-ups due to accidents on the Malahat Drive are a regular occurrence. (Goldstream News Gazette)

Malahat biggest risk careless driving, not speed, SenseBC says

Claire Trevena rules out speed cameras for Vancouver Island road

Vancouver Island’s scenic Malahat Drive can be a hazardous trip, but it’s mostly not due to exceeding the speed limit, according to data released Wednesday by B.C. driver advocate group SenseBC.

ICBC and transportation ministry crash data for 10 years on the Highway 1 stretch north of Victoria were obtained via freedom of information regulations. SenseBC researcher Derek Lewers said the results show only 5.6 per cent of accidents on the Malahat from 2008 to 2017 were attributed by police to exceeding the speed limit.

Getting the crash data took months and an appeal the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner, Lewers said.

As with other recent crash analyses of B.C. roads, “driver inattentive” was the biggest factor in Malahat crashes, at 25.6 per cent. Lewers says the Capital Regional District’s Traffic Safety Commission has lumped together speeding and driving too fast for conditions, at 12.6 per cent, for its push to have average speed cameras installed on the Malahat.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena ruled out the speed cameras, which SenseBC calls “photo radar 2.0” this week, after a long lobbying campaign by the CRD. Trevena made the comments as she released a study of the Malahat that found that severe crashes were not frequent enough to justify the cost of an alternative route for times when the Highway 1 route is shut down due to accidents or other hazardous conditions.

A recent police enforcement campaign on the Malahat showed speeding was a big problem, at least on Sunday, Dec. 8. Police set up a speed trap for five hours that day and ticketed 19 vehicles for excessive speeding, which is more than 40 km/h over the posted limit. Each driver got a $368 fine and the vehicle impounded for a week, a penalty SenseBC says adds up to more than $2,000 with impound fees and increased ICBC premiums.

For gathering the official statistics, the Malahat is defined as the portion of Highway 1 between West Shore Parkway in Langford north to Mill Bay Road in Mill Bay.

RELATED: Police impound 19 vehicles for excessive speed on Malahat

RELATED: Province says no to alternative route for Malahat

Another 63 speeding tickets were also issued in the blitz, costing $138 for up to 20 km/h over the limit, and $196 for going 20 to 40 km/h over. Acting Staff Sgt. Ron Cronk of the CRD’s road safety unit said high-speed driving is a constant problem on the Malahat.

SenseBC counters that according to ICBC and transportation ministry data, with 90 million trips over the Malahat in 10 years, only one fatality was attributed by police to excessive speeding. Statistics show there were 414 crashes over 10 years, which Lewers called an “unremarkable” crash rate.

SenseBC co-founder Ian Tootill said he is pleased that Trevena ruled out speed cameras, but cited ministry data showing the Malahat speed limit should be increased.

“Let’s put our police resources to work effectively, watching for aggressive, incompetent and impaired drivers, and stop robbing the ordinary hard-working British Columbian who is not negatively impacting road safety,” Tootill said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Langford theft investigation leads to national crime ring

More than $250,000 in stolen goods recovered, $67,000 in cash seized

Fraudsters impersonating Victoria police convince victim to put $6,000 into bitcoin machine

Police officers impersonated in latest scam to convince victims of legitimacy

VicPD uses non-lethal rounds to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement

The woman is believed to have broken into a dealership, attempting to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

Victoria woman to sell masks on wheels after garage stand shut down

Mama’s Masks stand accompanied Moss Street Market

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Devil’s Hand Poker Run in Campbell River to face RCMP scrutiny

The Campbell River RCMP will be keeping a close eye on the… Continue reading

B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

Most Read