LETTER – Speed limit on all residential streets should be dropped to 30 km/h

Dear editor,

Driving 50 km/h on a residential street is too fast, and most drivers interpret the “Maximum 50 km/h” speed sign as a “Minimum 50 km/h.” In addition to excess speed, there is all the distracting technology that modern vehicles are equipped with, resulting in a highly efficient killing and maiming machine. Even with a hands-free cell phone, it is easy for drivers to be distracted while having a conversation. Losing control of a vehicle for just a fraction of a second can result in a tragedy. Imagine living the rest of one’s life with the trauma of seriously injuring or killing a person. How many lives are worth saving a minute or two on your commute? It is easy to think it will never happen to me, but humans make mistakes and the faster you are driving, the more devastating the outcome.

The World Health Organization statistics states that a pedestrian struck by a vehicle going 30 km/h has a nine in 10 chance of survival. At 40 km/h, the survival rate drops to seven in 10, and by 50 km/h, it is 1.5 in 10. By 60 to 70 km/h, the survival rate is virtually nil. These are the statistics for a regular vehicle or motorcycle, not to mention the outcome if someone is hit by a dump truck, panel van or other large vehicle.

“Love 30 Canada” is a group formed in 2016 with the aim of reducing speed limits on urban and residential streets to a 30 km/h without any added enforcement or physical calming. The founding director, Graham Larkin, reasons that responsible people will follow the new limit, thereby making those following them drive more slowly.

If you want to keep your neighborhood safe, it is important to drive responsibly. Since drivers often ignore speed limit, “Children at play” or other signage intended to slow down traffic, it is up to the residents to help keep the speed limit down by driving at a lower speed in order to encourage others to do the same. In addition, if residents notice a vehicle or work truck that is exceeding the speed limit, record the licence number and report it to the local RCMP office.

Sandra Kamm,

Courtenay

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