Is 110 km/h too fast at night?

Freeways in British Columbia are governed by a posted speed limit of 110 km/h and for the most part are lit only by a driver's headlights

Freeways in British Columbia are governed by a posted speed limit of 110 km/h and for the most part are lit only by a driver’s headlights at night.

The opposing lanes are fairly close together and require the use of low beam headlamps when other traffic approaches.

When the highway is busy, drivers are often forced to travel long distances on low beam. How safe is this at 110 km/h?

The average vehicle takes about 64 metres to slide to a wheels-locked panic stop at 110 km/h. Some may stop a bit faster and more than a few will take longer, particularly pickup trucks and other larger vehicles.

A driver who is alert and expecting problems will likely have about one second pass between identifying something on the road and actually getting the brakes applied.

This means a further 31 metres of travel, bringing our total stopping distance to 95 metres.

Transport Canada says that the low-beam lighting system of most vehicles allows a driver to see about 140 metres.

It may seem further, but after that point most of the light is on the shoulder and the right ditch rather than on the lane ahead. This applies to halogen headlights and the new gaseous-discharge lamps.

The 45-metre distance between the end of the stopping distance and the end of the sight distance is travelled in less than a second and a half.

This is not a lot of time for a driver to react if they are not looking at the part of the roadway the obstruction is in, or are not completely alert and expecting to take action.

The gist of the calculation is that 110 km/h may not be a good night speed for drivers.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Y2K Spitfire comes home

Stocky Edwards guest of honour at banquet

Crown Isle acquires Longlands Golf Course

The Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community just got a little bit… Continue reading

Heliports certified at Comox Valley, Campbell River hospitals

Both sites should see heliports up and running by late summer

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Lawyer fired in B.C. courtroom during trial for dangerous driving causing death

Dustin Dennis Zinter was charged following November 2015 accident near Nanaimo, B.C.

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

Most Read