Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Raising Speed Limits May Not Be The Answer

After many years of government research and lobbying by consumer advocates, British Columbia recently adjusted several of its highway speed limits. To that I say ‘hoorah’.

But, I recently spent a month driving in Germany, Austria and Italy. Before I left people said: ‘Ooo, you get to drive as fast as you want’. And you know what? I was never so scared to be on the road as when I got back to BC.

So why am I still scared to drive on our roads? It has little to do with the limit. It has to do with rules.

Over there I knew that everyone would behave: trucks, caravans (motor homes), vehicles with trailers in the right lane. Unless a sign indicated permission to pass. Passenger cars in the left or centre/left lanes - and pay attention to the mirrors. Never did I fear that a truck or slower vehicle would move into the left lane. Nor would anyone hog the left lane.

Canada and the USA really only have one rule: obey the speed limit - or else. Otherwise it’s kind of like Aussie Rules Football. Anything goes so long as your chasing the ball.