Speed Limit Reduction Pilot Project
Reducing default speed limits has many benefits, including reducing vehicle operating speeds, improving road safety, and improving neighbourhood livability. It can have significant safety benefits in terms of fewer collisions as well as less severe collisions when they do occur. Lower speed limits can also reduce risks to people who walk, bike and use mobility aids.
BC municipalities have the authority to regulate speed limits on their roadways, although they do not currently have the authority to change the default speed limit under the BC Motor Vehicle Act.
Several municipalities across British Columbia, including the Town of Sidney, are interested in having the authority to establish default reduced speed limits in residential areas within their jurisdiction.
The Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure has indicated that an intake for Motor Vehicle Act pilot projects will occur in the Fall of 2020 with a general theme of projects that increase road safety for vulnerable road users. They have indicated that this will include the potential for pilot speed limit reductions on specific roads or classification of roads.
As a result, the Town of Sidney, along with several other Capital Region municipalities, has joined a regional initiative led by the District of Saanich is leading a regional initiative that would set the default speed limit to 40 km/h on streets without a continuous yellow centreline. This would apply primarily to roads that have lower traffic volumes. These changes would not affect school zones or other existing speed zones that have been enacted by bylaw and signs on individual streets.
If the application for a 3-year pilot project is successful, this initiative would be implemented in Summer/Fall of 2021. A public education program would accompany the pilot program to ensure broad awareness across our community.
If you have questions, please contact:
Town of Sidney Engineering Department