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

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

Marilyn Beuckert, a member of Port Alberni’s Community Action Team, hammers the final stake holding red ribbons that represent the 46 people from mid- Vancouver Island who have died of drug overdoses in 2020. The display went up Dec. 4, 2020 in front of the Salvation Army building at Argyle Street and Fourth Avenue. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Red ribbons mark drug overdose deaths in poignant Port Alberni display

Each ribbon signifies a person who died in mid Vancouver Island: CAT team

The Alberni Valley Non-Contact Hockey League has suspended play under provincial health orders despite having a strict COVID-19 safety plan. (FILE PHOTO COURTESY TREVOR ZADO)
Adult sports shutdown ‘tough pill to swallow’ says Alberni hockey league president

Hockey, curling suspend play under new provincial COVID-19 orders

Renovations are complete at the Bread of Life and following a final health inspection, the warming centre at the Third Avenue facility will be open a few days a week. (PHOTO COURTESY BREAD OF LIFE SOCIETY)
Port Alberni’s warming centre close to opening

Organizers aim for Dec. 4 pending final health inspection

”Once upon a time…” (METRO CREATIVE)
QUINN’S QUIPS: Who is the creature in the shiny red mask?

Annual Alberni Valley News story contest kicks off for 2020

FILLING THE KETTLES
Hayden Henschel, 3, has fun slipping coins into a Salvation Army kettle on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in front of Walmart. Henschel was shopping with her family when they stopped to make a donation to the kettle campaign. To donate online, visit the website www.fillthekettle.com. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Port Alberni Salvation Army’s kettle campaign seeks donations

Contact-less donations are available online

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

Most Read