How Speed Limits are Set in BC: The Ultimate Guide

Crew installing speed limit sign on a highway

Discussions around speed limits in British Columbia accelerate every once in a while. Some people want to see higher limits, some want lower limits, and others like them just the way they are. You might even have chimed in yourself – whether through social media, a letter to an editor, or simply chatting with friends and colleagues.

The conversation certainly gets rolling on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Twitter and Facebook channels, which compelled us to help bring some clarity to the issue by giving an overview of how the ministry has studied and determined speed limits, using public safety as its top priority.

While the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is responsible for enforcing speed limits, our ministry sets the posted limits on provincial roadways.

Before highway construction even begins, engineers create a design according to the intended use of the roadway and the design speed. This is based on a number of engineering factors, road classifications (four-lane freeway, two-lane freeway, etc.) and others, including local land use, roadway geometry, intersection design and spacing.

The Motor Vehicle Act states that unless otherwise posted, the basic limit for all provincial highways is 80 km/h in rural environments, and 50 km/h within urban municipalities. So, if speeds other than these basic speeds are required, the ministry is tasked with setting or adjusting the limits.

Traffic engineers set speed limits according to the following factors:

  • The local land use indicating the driving environment
  • The road classification
  • The highway geometry, such as how much sight distance is available to stop in time for an object up ahead
  • Features such as shoulder width and the number of intersections and highway entrances
  • The history of the highway, including number and types of incidents
  • The volume of traffic and vehicle types/modes of transportation using the highway (passenger cars, trucks, pedestrians, bicycles, etc.)

Motorists’ behaviours are also taken into account when establishing a speed limit zone. Most drivers are sensible and will naturally drive at a reasonable speed to reach their destination safely. As such, the ministry uses the “majority” concept as a guiding principle for evaluating speed limits. The “majority” speed represents that speed at or below which most of the traffic is moving in ideal road conditions, and is widely accepted in North America as being closest to that “just right” speed limit motorists will comply with.

speed limits on BC Highways
Speed limits increased on Highway 97 after improvements

While extremely high speeds are dangerous, lowering speed limits well below the majority of travellers can also pose safety risks. Drivers become frustrated when speed limits do not reflect road characteristics, resulting in rash decisions and dangerous driving behaviour. And when drivers’ speeds vary drastically, there are more instances of unsafe passing, rear-end collisions and weaving on multi-lane roads. It’s all about finding a balance.

In some cases, the ministry reviews a highway’s speed limit after improvements are completed or as land use around the area evolves. Take parts of Highway 97 between Prince George and Cache Creek which were improved, to expand from two to four lanes and reduce curves in the road. We also reviewed and increased the speed limit from 90 km/h to 100 km/h along sections of the Trans-Canada Highway near Kamloops, Sorrento, and from Savona to Cache Creek, after they underwent safety improvements.

Speed limits do change. Design improvements can make a highway safer, and along the way to increase speed limits on sections as construction is completed.

We want to make sure highway travellers can move throughout the province efficiently and, most importantly, safely. Commissioning research and consulting with stakeholders, along with performing speed limit reviews as highways improve, is how we’ve been managing our responsibility to set speed zones on provincial highways. Discussions are healthy, and this one is likely to continue in newspapers and around dinner tables. But putting travellers at greater risk is not up for debate.

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Page 1 of 224 comments on “How Speed Limits are Set in BC: The Ultimate Guide”

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  1. You didn’t even mention wildlife in your information. To you it’s all about setting speed limits that are safe for drivers. You should consider wildlife if only in the context of driver safety. But aside from driver safety you need to consider wildlife safety. Who gave us the right to slaughter them on our roads? The Kootenay Pass has speed limits that are too high for wildlife to escape collisions. But the problem of killing wildlife south of Cranbrook would be simple to rectify. Simply lowering the speed limit to 60 kph close to Elizabeth Lake would likely solve the problem of collisions with deer. They are just going to the lake for a drink!
    North of Cranbrook on hwy. 3 next to the cranbrook sewer fields there is a similar problem. It’s
    the deer’s only source of green grass before winter. Just by putting up a temporary sign stating the speed limit is 60 kph in that area would stop the carnage. We saw 5 dead deer in the ditch last year.

  2. I travel from Fort nelson to Prince George several times a year. Hwy 97 from Fort Nelson to Pink Mountain had several corners removed over the years and is now safer to travel. Can variable speed limit signs be added for different seasons of the year. The speed is currently 100km/h and most traffic on the road travel around 110km/h or more and also the traffic is light most of the time of the year. I also travel Hwy29 from Fort St John to Chetwynd, the highway had just had several hills and corners removed. The speed limit is 90Km/h. Can the speed limit be increased to 100Km/h for most of the highway. Thanks Tim

    • Hi, Tim.

      Thanks for connecting with us. We have forwarded your comments to local staff in the area to see if they have any more details on speed limit decisions on those particular sections of your route. We will relay any information we receive to you here.

  3. When leaving Quesnel on Highway 97 North, the speed limit is 70 km until part way up the Airport Hill then increases to 100 km. Along the first kilometer of the highway where the speed increases there is a landfill on a blind corner, numerous truck shops including a highway transport yard. The highway is 2 lanes northbound yet it merges to 1 lane right where the entrance to a subdivision is. People are continually trying to pass in the last second before the lanes merge. Also, the sign indicating a merge is approaching is placed so that if there is a transport truck in the slow lane it is not visible to the traffic in the passing lane. I don’t understand why the speed limit is so high in an area with so many trucks entering and exiting the highway.

  4. Hi,
    From time to time we travel from the Salmon Arm area to Kelowna. We encounter various speed limits on the highways along the way. From the TCH to 97 A it is 90 km. 97A to Vernon is 100 KM and Vernon to the new section of four lane at Oyama is 90 KM. For decades I’ve always wondered why the best section of four lane divided highway, (Vernon to Obama), has remained 90 KM. The worst section between from 97 B at 97 A to Armstrong seems fast for the road conditions in comparison. Is there a reason for this? It seems that in this day and age of 2023 the speed limit could be updated.

    I’d appreciate if you could help me understand the reasoning behind this.

    The other point of interest being this: At 90 K on that stretch of freeway most traffic is travelling well in excess of that 90 K speed.

    • Hi Daniel, thanks for reaching out to us here with your question! We have forwarded it to local staff in the area to see if they have any more details on speed limit decisions on those particular sections of your route. We will relay any information we receive to you here.

  5. Our road in Mara BC has no speed sign. It is a narrow road and as a resident I can attest to vehicles traveling at 70 kmh o higher.
    What needs to take place to have speed signs installed on West Poirier Rd in Mara BC

    • Hello Bob – thanks for your comment. We encourage you to reach out to our staff in the Kelowna area office for review. Here is their contact information.

      Okanagan Shuswap District
      #300 – 1358 St. Paul Street
      Kelowna, BC V1Y 2E1
      Telephone: +1-250-712-3660

  6. Why is the section of highway west of Princeton only 80 kms per hr? It makes absolutely no sense when it is 3 lanes and wider than the rest of the Hope Princeton section which is 100km.

    • Hello Doug,

      Thanks for your comment. Our staff have reviewed this location and are in the process of changing the limit in this location. We expect this work to be completed and signed by the fall. Hope this is helpful. Safe travels.

  7. The Sunday Summitt to Princeton speed limit zone on 3 goes on way too long. I understand why there is an 80 zone in the area because of some sharp curves with no shoulder that could be especially bad for semis. Its also the “majority speed” in reverse because most people slow way down for these curves especially downhill however part of the road covered by the speed limit was upgraded in the early 2010s to be much straighter to the point of blasting through rock to turn a hairpin curve into a very mild corner and to include 3 and 4 lane passing sections and that upgraded section is perfectly safe to drive at 100 it was probably designed for 110-120. Before the upgrades it made sense to include this section as part of the 80 zone but now especially because it’s a passing section where traffic without trailers is trying to get by the much slower trailer towing traffic to avoid a bunch up in the corners and uphills it’s a speed trap zone. I’m pretty sure that someone just forgot to move the speed zone after the upgrade was done.

    There usually isnt highway patrol up there but when they are there they’re only enforcing this legacy speed limit because of course everyone is doing 100. Theyre never going and slowing people down where they actually still need to slow down. Most people actually do slow down to 80 once the actual dangerous section comes up.

    The Salmo-Creston might be worth looking into as the next place to put variable speed signs. There should be road condition signs in Creston and Castlegar before their respective junctions with the 3A Kootenay Lake route to help people decide whether they should avoid the pass and take the ferry due to snow and ice especially for the March-May season where that pass is the only part of the highway with snow. It can be winter driving conditions unexpectedly on that pass long after most people get their winter tires off even as late as June and vehicles without winter tires in those conditions should be going for the ferry not attempting the pass.
    A small pullout at either end of the Salmo-Creston to allow locking hub 4×4 setups to stop and lock their hubs before ascending the pass and unlock at the other end might be a nice addition one day if there is ever any surplus asphalt after a resurfacing. Not a big deal but people now are using driveways and side roads to lock/unlock their hubs.

    • Hello, Crowa

      Thank you for your comment. We have reviewed the speed limit along this segment and are in the process of making changes to it. Our hope is to have new limits and signage in place by the fall. We have also shared your feedback about pullouts and VSLS with our staff in the Salmo/Creston area. We hope this information is helpful. Safe travels.

  8. I really believe hwy 33 in Joe riche speed should be lowered, the traffic has increased over the past few years and so have the accidents . There are lots of blind curves making it difficult to turn across the Hwy on to side roads . The number of cars that pass on solid double lines is out of control. I have driven this hwy for 30 years ( speed was 80 back then ) I drive the speed limit and have encountered many aggressive and dangerous drivers . another accident last night 4 people sent to hospital , one didn’t survive.

  9. Can a community with a major Hwy running through it, such as Hwy 97 through Osoyoos or Oliver, choose to lower the speed limit to 40k or even 30kph.?

    Also have we ever considered the provision of level crosswalks, that is level with the sidewalk, but elevated on the highway, such as are used on Station Street in Oliver. These have the effect of acting like a giant “speed bump”, thereby calming traffic and when combined with bumpouts make life much better for the elderly and handicapped.

    • Hi Jim, The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure does not post regulatory speeds lower than 50 km/h. The exception is for playgrounds or school zones. The ministry does not install speed bumps (or crosswalks level for sidewalks) on its roadways. The RCMP are responsible for enforcing regulatory speed limits on provincial roadways.

  10. Please change the dangerous 90 km speed limit on the Trans Canada just before Goldstream going North. There are curves on the highway between McCallum Road and West Shore Parkway that don’t accommodate 90 km and there are plenty of tire skids on the road and barrier scars as cars try to do 90km in that section. It should be 80km in that section

    • Good morning Frank – thanks for your question.

      Speed limits might be different in local municipalities and we encourage you to confirm with your local authority. Otherwise, highway speed limits are typically 80 or 90 km per hr and 50 km per hr unless otherwise posted.

  11. I live in Nanaimo. The older of two major highways cut directly through Nanaimo municipality. 19A, also known as Inland Island Hwy. Has a mix of 50, 70 and 80 kms/hr. The Nanaimo of today with its quickly increasing population and therefore number of cars using, entering and exiting this older highway has issues that can be addressed with a consistent speed limit from one end to the other.
    Drivers are leaving 50 kph zones and crossing or turning left or right mixing at places with 80 kph traffic. This has the potential for daily crashes, near misses and frustration of motorists.
    For example entering 19A from the North you slow to 80 and then cross the highway onto 19A. A simple one way crossover would eliminate a traffic light and stoppage of 4 lanes of highway traffic. I digress.
    Then you are reduced to 70 km/hr and then shortly after sped up to 80 kph only to be slowed to 70 kph/hr and then 50 kph. As 50 seemed good enough for the Northfield road area why can’t the whole zone from one end to the other be 50 kph.
    Police enforcement does not exist on this confusing 19A as motorists on average don’t know what the speed limit is.
    A lower speed would reduce the risk of devastating intersection crashes and would reduce speeds on municipal streets as motorists would already be doing 50 kph on there access to 50 kph streets.
    In closing the ‘old’ Nanaimo could handle weird mixed up speed zones. The new heavily used Nanaimo can’t. At busy times motorists are lucky to reach 60 kph due to traffic volumes. What else can we do to get a consistent speed through Nanaimo? The new 19 can handle the faster vehicles.

  12. Hello,

    Here are just three recent stories that show children being struck by cars. I can’t help but think current speed limits are not being enforced and existing limits are TOO FAST for urban roads. Studies have shown that slowing down saves lives. Why can’t BC lower the speed limit in urban areas? Crossing the street and even walking on the sidewalk should not be a terrifying experience in Vancouver, but it is. Please address this serious issue.

    • Hello Elayne and thank you for your message. Speed limits in urban areas are set and enforced locally by their respective municipality. We encourage you to send this concern directly to the City of Vancouver. We hope that this is helpful. Safe travels.

  13. Good day,
    I am writing about the speed limit on the 80 KM/H section of the road between Fulford Harbour and Ganges on Saltspring Island. Every time that I visit the island , as I did recently , I am amazed that this narrow, windy and road with frequently accessed driveways has such a high speed limit.
    Between Fulford and Ganges where there is an 80 KM/H limit there are no less than four (4) sections with a suggested maximum speed of 40 KM, and another four (4) sections that recommend a maximum of 60 KM/H.
    I strongly feel that this entire stretch of road should have a posted speed limit of 60 KM/H. This
    is not a major highway , but a winding country road that does not lend its self to drivers going
    at 10 or more kilometers per hour.
    I suggest that an official from BC Dept. of Highways visit the island and see for themselves what I am saying.
    I did the speed limit of 80 and still had a long line of cars right on my tail behind me. After pulling over to allow these cars to pass , they sped off leaving me far behind however allowing me to continue at what I felt was a safe and correct speed……….60 Km/H.
    Thank you for looking into this and getting back to me in the near future.
    Paul Stenner

    Driver since 1959 with a clean record !!

    • Hello Paul – thank you for connecting with us here to share your concerns. We have shared your comment forward with our area manager for the island and they will review when they next visit the island. Safe travels.

    • Hello Paul – sorry for the delay in this response. Our staff in the area have confirmed that all posted speed limits have been reviewed and approved by ministry traffic engineers, ensuring that they meet road standards set by the Geometric Design Guidelines for BC Roads. At this time there is no plan to re-evaluate the posted speed along Fulford-Ganges Rd, but we have shared your concerns with our engineers for their consideration.

    • Hello Read,

      The established speed zone/limit on H93 from Roosville to H3 junction and H3 to Cranbrook is 100km/h, with some town reductions in-between. Hope that helps!

    • Hello Pat,

      Unless a sign tells you otherwise, speed limits are:

      • 50 km/h within cities and towns
      • 80 km/h outside cities and towns
      • 20 km/h is the maximum speed limit in a lane or alley

      Hope that this is helpful. Safe travels.

  14. 1. Who does a community contact to propose speed limit reductions in rural North Central BC?
    2. Who does a community contact to propose logging road use enforcement during active logging vs public road use?

    Higher volumes of logging truck traffic have led to accidents (logging trucks tipping and losing their loads, impaled vehicles from logs, logging truck/community member vehicle collisions causing deaths, livestock losses) and unsafe driving conditions (loaded and unloaded logging trucks passing community member vehicles unsafely and illegally: around tight corners, on blind hills, tailgating pressure to pull over). The speeds at which many of the said logging trucks are traveling loaded and unloaded are well above the posted speed limits of 80km/hr. This situation has become a deadly race on dry and wet roads, ice and snow covered roads. Thank you!

  15. You desperately need to increase the speed limits on the SFPR. I’ve been going the speed limit lately after getting a ticket, and literally everyone including semi-trucks are passing me while I go 80km/h on the morning commutes. Also there are sections that have a city limit of 50km/h (at Tannery Rd) for no apparent reason other than a traffic light and gated and signaled rail crossing. There are comparable highways that have intersections, like lougheed highway, but they have a limit of 70km/h where there are intersections. Why not increase the limits if everyone is speeding, I feel like I am creating a hazard of others by going the limit, but I will continue to do so as I can’t afford more tickets.

  16. Hi,

    Who sets the speed limit on Oak St. Bridge in Vancouver? If it’s you guys, you should really consider raising the speed limit to 80 kph, or at the very least 70 kph. The road design of the bridge implies a design speed of around 80 kph with how straight it is and well-lit, and people notice that. So flow of traffic is usually around 80–90 kph. Traveling 60 kph down Oak St. Bridge not only makes one feel stupid, but it also feels like a suicide mission, with everybody whizzing by you at 80–100 kph. Heck, even the trucks don’t do 60 kph. Absolutely NOBODY does 60 kph. Big warning flag if there is such a discrepancy between the posted speed limit and the speed that the majority of vehicles travel at. Your article even talked about that exact point.

    Please, consider raising the speed limit on Oak St. Bridge. I see literally no reason for it to have such a low speed limit, and it’s literally a death trap if one obeys the 60 kph speed limit.


  17. Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns. I live on Highway 99 between Pemberton and the ‘Duffy’ Highway.

    I am concerned with the closure of various highways in the lower mainland leading to vehicles rerouted North along Highway 99, through Pemberton. Over the past few years Pemberton has seen a lot of growth and it becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to drive out of our driveway. We witness numerous accidents on the highway in front of our property every few months. We have seen trucks lose heavy loads while attempting the corner too quickly, drivers in the ditch due to ice, to most recently a driver crashed in the ditch (and through a residential walking trail) as they missed the sharp corner in the middle of the day. There are also wild horses, bears and other wildlife often on the highway and numerous blind corners leading it impossible to stop in a reasonable time at the curtain speeds. This area is a residential zone and needs to be treated like one from BC Highways.

    Currently the highway is set at 80km/hr with suggested limits of 60km/hr around sharper corners. Over the stretch of 4km the highway passes upwards of 40 driveways directly into properties. In consideration of the events over the past week which will most certainly result in sharply increased traffic, we request the Ministry lower the speed limit immediately on the section of Highway 99 from Pemberton to Mount Currie.

    Thank you and please let me know if there is someone else to direct my concerns to.

    • Hi there Rebecca,

      Thanks for reaching out to us here to share your concerns. We have shared your concern with our regional traffic safety engineers and will let you know what we hear back. Stay tuned.

  18. Hello from a local driving instructor in the Fraser Valley. Could you direct me to detailed information in regards to the factors that determine 50km/hr within city limits? I’d like to be able to elaborate in more detail to my students. Factors such as a higher risk of incidents due to condensed population in relation to stopping distance. Thanks!

  19. Hi TransBC,

    I believe that some of the uphills or highways like Malahat on the highway are too low, even though I just watch through the window when the family drives up to Victoria.

    As you will need a lot of speed to get up those and the speed limits are a bit low.



    • Hello Shawn – thanks for your comment. Travel at a slower speed won’t stop you from getting up hills like the Malahat – it will just take you a bit longer to get to the top. Plus, with all the curves and bends, travel at lower speeds tends to be a bit safer too. Safe travels!

  20. Hello,

    I was watching the GPS while we are travelling from Nanaimo to Victoria, there were some delayed speed limits, not marked Malahat drive, some highways need fix up with the roads, signage and speed limits.

    Please forward to appropriate team.



      • Hello TranBC,

        Let’s see, some speed limit zones issues around the highway in Ladysmith after 1st Ave, Bridge not marked before Mnt Sicker.

        There were a few delayed speed limits, or incorrect along the Malahat Drive, some in Victoria, and yeah.

        TomTom Maps is the GPS we were using, not to be promoting anything but is it possible you forward the speed zones maps to them?

        As it seems they only use user reporting or public data, thanks 🙂


          • Hi again Shawn,

            Glad to hear your feedback on our signage and posted speed limits. Unfortunately, it’s up to GPS service providers to update their information for their customers on their platforms, not the responsibility of the ministry. Safe travels!

        • Hi again Shawn – thanks for you comments. Are you noting issues not captured in Tom Tom or issues you noticed on the road itself. If you would like to follow up with Tom Tom about any inconsistencies you noticed, they should be able to update their database. Safe travels!

          • Hello,

            Well, I am not quite sure how TomTom gets their speed limit road data, I believe it is either user reporting or some source.

            I would think the ministry would have to work with them or at least provide some sort of web portal or mapping service SDK or something so they can integrate.

            Yes, I understand it is up to them but they can’t fix if they don’t have the right data.

            Can you provide that? I can submit the pdfs or documents to them via map share.

            It’s a Map issue not the highway issue,

          • Hi there Shawn,

            They likely access an API database of highway information, such as Open511, and make updates to their tool on their own schedule. We suggest connecting with them directly with your concerns. Safe travels.

          • It’s kind of hard to remember all the delayed or incorrect signage, so it would be hard to pinpoint to them.

          • Hello,

            Thanks for your response though I have no direct contact, I only can report issues, is the open511 the most up-to-date source from TranBC?

            Open511 is only on roadworks, not highway info. Can you provide me a good source for highway? I can send that



          • Hi Shawn,

            The data on Open 511 is kept up to date. More than likely the Tom Tom folks also have a regular schedule of updating as well. Thanks for reporting an issue to the service as a subscriber. Safe travels.

          • Hello TranBCEditor,

            Thanks for your response though the Open511 API doesn’t include speed limits.

            I will let them handle it form now, thank you for your time 🙂

            Take care,


          • That is where we make our data available, but not knowing their process, can’t say for sure. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help.

          • Hello TranBcEditor,

            I have submitted the website to them, do you have a database with bridge locations as well?



          • Hello again,

            Thanks for your response, I will just use Google Street View to find the posted limits.

            Any plans for BC to enforce ISA for map providers, intelligent speed alerts>


          • Hello Shawn – thanks for that. We’ve shared your question about ISA for map providers with our engineering group and will let you know what we hear back.

          • Hello again Shawn,

            Here’s what we heard back.

            ISA technology has been talked about by the European Union for implementation in upcoming years. Computer car technology taking control of ones car more or less got started with anti-lock brakes and the modulation of braking and has grown in vehicles ever since.

            In terms of this technology taking over the operation of a vehicle, nothing has been talked about in North America so far. The closest thing in North America is upper maximum speed, which all vehicles have had controlled, whereas for some trucks they have lowered it further. Highway laws and regulations are currently established based on driver behaviour and not computer behaviour. In the case of autonomous vehicles, who is in charge of the vehicle, the driver, the software manufacturer, the hardware manufacturer, or the car manufacturer – these are the things that have to be determined in law. We hope that this information is helpful.

          • Hello Tranbceditor,

            Just wondering if there is a map of the commercial truck scales for BC highways?



  21. The speed limit east of silverdale bc going west changes from 80km/hr to 60km/hr a km before silverdale. I don’t understand why the speed limit changes so far before any cross streets of exits. Most drivers do nor obey this speed drop. Some are still travelling at100km/hr. I admit most times I do not slow down to 60km/hr at the sign but take my foot of the gas and coast to within 10k of the speed limit. I feel decreasing the limit at this distance is BREEDING CONTEMPT for the speed zones. There seems to be contempt for many speed reduction zones.

    The same situation west of siverdale. Most drivers reach 80km/hr or more long before the 80km/hr sign because it does not make sense to them why so long from silverdale do I have to go 60km/hr.
    I am forced to exceed the speed limit by at least 10 to 20 km/hr to safely keep up with traffic.
    I would like to understand why this speed zone was set up this way.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi there Brian – thanks for your comment. Are you referring to the posted speed limit on BC highway 7 or BC highway 1? Just looking to clarify before we send your comment off to staff in the area. Thanks!

  22. I personally think that speed on highways in BC are too low. Interior is alright but in Greater Vancouver and the Okanagan it is low. For example, in Greater Vancouver, the speeds on Highway 1 until Port Mann bridge could be 110km/h, I get around Abbotsford during rush hour things get piled up so you could introduce a variable speed system to cope with traffic. After Port Mann It could be 100km/h until Ironworkers and then 90km/h until the Taylor way exit. From there 100km/h until the ferries and 90km/h for 99. Another thing is 91 and 99 are too low also. 91 could be a 100km/h until Knight Street. 99 could be 110km/h after 91. The Inland Hwy, 19, could be reverted back to 120km/h on the freeway portions and 100km/h on the non freeway portions. 97C could also be reverted back to 120km/h. Thanks for reading!

  23. Mabel Lake Rd from Lumby and specifically past Kingfisher Resort and to end at Mabel Lake Marina.This road has no shoulder and is not a Through Hwy.Many tourists and residents at Kingfisher walk this road and traffic usually is going faster than 80 which is Too Fast! We just travelled Hwy 3A from Creston to Nelson which is a Through Hwy with a shoulder and the majority of the way is 60 Km. Hr.This has to be changed before someone gets killed on this stretch.

    • Hello Randy – thanks for your comment here. We shared your concern with our local area staff who advised that they received your question via email as well and have responded to you through that channel. As you noted , this is a blanket 80km/h speed limit with advisory warning speeds on some of the corners. Excessive speed is a matter of enforcement by the RCMP. Traffic Engineers are reluctant to lower the speed limit because of a population increase which is only for a seasonal time period. We hope that this is helpful. Safe travels.

  24. I have concerns with highway speed limits in BC where they are set to the design speed rather than the 85th percentile speed. Some highways that are posted at their design speed, from my understanding, include the Malahat Hwy (80km/h), Inland Island Hwy (110km/h), and Pat Bay Hwy (80-90km/h). Design speed represents the “least desirable geometric feature of the highway.” However, the design speed does not reflect the maximum safe speed of a roadway. Engineering studies and research from as far back as 2003 have looked at the practice of setting speed limits at a road’s design speed. Most studies do not recommend using design speed when determining a posted speed limit as “The 85th percentile speed is considered the appropriate speed limit even for those sections of roadway that have an inferred design speed lower than the 85th percentile speed…” and “Arbitrarily setting lower speed limits at point locations due to a lower inferred design speed is neither effective nor good engineering practice.” –

    So I question why the MoTI is continuing to post highways at their design speed rather than the 85th percentile despite engineering studies suggesting to no longer continue this practice? Thank you.

    • Hi Brian,

      The statutory maximum speed limit for Roe Cres is 80 km/h. A statutory speed limit is where the speed zone has not been established by a traffic engineer and posted with a speed limit sign. While 80 km/h is the maximum, this does not mean that drivers should necessarily be driving at that speed. They need to drive at a safe speed for all conditions such as curving or winding areas, traffic, visibility, weather and road conditions, and to watch and slow for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

    • I would love to hear the opinion of someone in charge at MoT for the following question.

      If there was zero possiblity of crashes/accidents on BC highways, what should the speed limit be?

  25. How can one make a suggestion for changing a speed limit on a portion of provincial highway that falls within a district? Is the suggestion/request made to the MOTI or the local district or some other office?

  26. I don’t understand why the speed limit at the road leading to the Swartz Bay terminal is 50kph which is a huge and sudden drop from the 80kph of the highway. The road is essentially the same, safer in fact, wide, 4 lanes, clear line of sight and no cross traffic. And no history of crashes except for the one where someone fell asleep at the wheel (probably because of driving at such low speed). It’s a long stretch at 50kph especially when you have to catch a ferry and cops use it as a cash grab.

    • Hi Saba,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. The speed limit is in place to support the transition down to 20 km/h in the ferry terminal area as well as to allow travellers on the highway to slow down and be prepared for the potential of ferry traffic which may be backed up outside the terminal area itself during busier travel times. We hope that this information is helpful.

  27. 80 km/h on Hwy #1 Between Horseshoe bay and Lonsdale doesn’t follow your rules listed. A very typical speed for that section is. Closer to 90-100km/h

    Please consider reviewing?

  28. Today a vehicle incident on Highway 1 has me question the new 90 km/h speed limit between Leigh Rd and Westshore Pkwy. On Highway 1 slightly past Leigh Rd heading Northbound just around the curve, there was a stalled box truck in the right lane with a maintenance vehicle behind it a flashing arrow board directing vehicles to merge left. I didn’t end up in any trouble since I was already in the left-lane. But people who were in the right-lane travelling 90 km/h likely wouldn’t be able to react fast enough at that speed. The curve seems to warrant 80 km/h based on sight lines so I really question why the decision was made raise the speed limit here. Also, why was the 90 km/h to 80 km/h transition placed near Ice Cream Mountain rather than have it near Leigh Rd? Thank you.

    • Hello again Colton – our project manager has let us know that the signage meets engineering standards and there are no plans to update or change the limit or the placement. Thanks for your continued interest in BC Highways!

  29. The Pat Bay Highway between McKenzie Ave and Haliburton Rd currently has a posted speed limit of 80 km/h. This section is 6 km in length and a freeway-standard. Most people tend to travel 90-100 km/h. So I question why this section is not posted at 90 km/h? Also, I wonder what the old speed limit was on this section of the Pat Bay Highway when it opened in the 1970s? Thank you.

    • Hello Colton,

      Our records show that on Mar 1975 the speed limit on this segment of Highway 17 was 50 miles per hour, which converts to 80 km/h. The ministry continues to monitor the results of the 2014 Rural Highway and speed review on all highway corridors, including the Pat Bay Highway. We have passed this request on to our operations and engineering team for their review.

    • Most of Pat Bay highway was 60 MPH (98 KPH) in the 1960s, as was the Malahat North of the Goldstream twisty bits. Back when seatbelts were optional, crappy bias ply tires the norm, always-lock drum brakes installed and the only air-bags involved were the occasional back-seat driver. Now we have signs that day 80 KPH that a vast majority consider stupid-slow and ignore completely Go figure? Keeps the IRSU in donuts I guess..

  30. I understand the issue is complex but I didn’t see anything about using 85th percentile speeds and adjusting up or down based on the factors you mentioned; which is used throughout North America. are 85th percentile speeds with a speed study required in BC in order to legally enforce a speed limit in BC?

    • Hello Richard,
      Thanks for your question. Our engineers take a number of factors into consideration when they update speed limits on BC highways.
      For the most recent speed review, along with public consultation, over 300 speed surveys were conducted on rural numbered highways across the province. The speed surveys measured free flow speeds from which 85th percentile speeds were calculated. The 85th percentile speed represents the speed at or below which 85% of vehicles travel. It is the predominant factor used in setting speed limits in North America. When assessing speed limits, ministry engineers carry out an evaluation using the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) document entitled “Speed Zone Guidelines – A Proposed
      Recommended Practice”. This evaluation includes an analysis of free flow travel speeds and determination of the 85th percentile speed. Other considerations in speed limit analysisinclude:
      • safety history,
      • geometric characteristics of the highway,
      • consistency of speed limits along the highway, and
      • land use.

      In regards to enforcement of speed limit regulations, that responsibility falls to the local authority having jurisdiction, likely the BC RCMP. We hope that this information is helpful.

      • Hi, the South Fraser Perimeter Road speed limit of 80 km/h doesn’t fit within the 85 percentile speed. I drive it every day and usually travel at 100 km/h. I have to stay in the right lane while easily the majority of cars go sailing past me, and many trucks as well. A speed limit of 100 km/h would make much more sense. It is a limited access road with a few intersections. Lower posted limits can be enforced near the intersections.

        How does a person go about petitioning the Ministry to have the speed limit reviewed?

        • Hello and thank you for your comment.

          The ministry continues to review posted speed limits along all of its corridors, to ensure that they remain safe and effective.

          The SFPR has a lower speed limit in place due to a number of factors which require it.

          – The approach to the Pattullo Bridge, where there is a bridge support “bent” that restricts horizontal sight distance.
          – A dip in the highway to provide clearance for commercial vehicles between the road surface and to the overhead Pattullo Bridge span that lies overhead of the SFPR.
          – There is also an at-grade intersection, an at-grade railway crossing, and vertical alignment changes through this zone – so, quite a bit going on to warrant the reduced speed limit.

          If you would like to talk to staff about the limits in place, you can reach out to them at the local area office:

          Lower Mainland District
          Suite 310 – 1500 Woolridge St.
          Coquitlam, BC V3K 0B8
          604 527-2221

          Hours of operation:
          8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday

      • Leaving the speed limit up to the RCMP is mostly so they can enforce violations. The 85% is the only way that speed limits should be set. (via radar that is undetectable to the general public)

  31. Hi there.
    In Washington State, 60mph separate posted truck speed limits are in place on all highways with posted limits above 60mph (~97km/h). Oregon also has similar truck speed limits. The truck speed limits in Washington State and Oregon have proven to reduce collisions between passenger vehicles and commerical vehicles. Meanwhile in B.C., the only truck speed limit I have seen is on Highway 1 near Kamloops where a truck speed limit of 80 km/h is posted. I know B.C. is currently looking at mandating speed limiters in trucks where trucks would be physically limited to 105 km/h. However, there is the possibility that it doesn’t go through. Also, even if it goes through, that may still take years to implement. I am curious why the ministry doesn’t use posted truck speed limits more broadly. For example, have a posted truck speed limit of 100 km/h on highways where the speed limit is 110 km/h. On 120km/h sections of the Coquhiella where no Variable Speed Limit System exists, have a truck speed limit of 100-110km/h. Has the ministry ever considered setting posted truck speed limits on highways? I also hope you will consider my comments.
    Thank you!

    • Thank you for your suggestion Colton. Our engineering groups has confirmed that they have considered this suggestion in the past and they haven’t ruled it out.

      The issue is, in a province where geography often controls speed limits, especially for trucks, speed is seldom an issue, as most issues for commercial trucks tend to be winter driving related, or load shifting issues. The other thing to remember, trucks, depending on highway only make up 5% to 15% of vehicles traveling the road at a given time. Having said that, the Ministry has supported the idea that the safest road is where vehicles all travel the same speed, where speed differentials are minimized. When speeds are all the same, passing maneuvers are minimized, and the on-going weaving on multi-lane highways is minimized.

      When drivers are given a higher work load, like passing and continually weaving back and forth in traffic this fact increases the frequency of manoeuvers. When the frequency of maneuvers goes up, that means the exposure to risk (of mistakes taking place) goes up, therefore when the exposure to risk goes up, the end result is higher crash rates.

      We hope this information is helpful.

  32. Seeing that the McKenzie Interchange Project is in the very final stages, when will the 60 km/h construction speed limit on Highway 1 and 50 km/h construction speed limit on McKenzie Ave be removed? Also, will Highway 1 return to 80 or 90 km/h? Thanks.

    • On another note, I hope consideration could be given to extending the 70 km/h zone on the Malahat slightly north to the nearby Southbound U-Turn intersection. Basically the current transition from 70 km/h to 80 km/h just prior to the sharp curve at the north end of Tunnel Hill is a safety concern as the curve seems to have a 70 km/h design speed. Sightlines at the intersection just north of the curve likely don’t meet 80 km/h speed criteria.

    • Hello Colton,

      When all associated works are complete, the speed limit will be re-instated. At this time, we cannot confirm if the speed limit on the highway will remain the same or be updated.

      • I was merging onto Highway 1 from McKenzie today and traffic was flowing
        above 80km/h. Now I haven’t driven the corridor for about a week and I didn’t see any 60km/h speed signs on the highway so I was not sure if the construction speed limit was still place or not. But then I noticed the “work zone ends” sign was still up near Helmcken Rd. So basically it is not clear that the construction speed limit is still in effect until the end of the work zone. At the very least install a 60km/h “construction speed zone” sign on the highway after the merge lane from McKenzie Ave.
        Also the 50km/h construction speed zone on McKenzie Ave should be removed as there is no reason for the reduced speed near the Interurban Bridge. The 60 km/h construction speed zone on Highway 1 is too slow given that all median barriers, roadside barriers, lane markings, crash attenuators, and full merge lane length are in place. The remaining work is taking place off the highway so I don’t understand why the reduced speed is still in place. I would like to know why the construction speed limits are being left in place despite all safety features being completed? Thank you.

        • Hello Colton,

          Despite the majority of work being completed on this project, there is still work being done in the area and as such a continued need for reduced speed through the construction zone. When the project is fully completed, the signage will be removed and the speed limit re-instated. Hope that this helps!

          • I still hope additional 60 km/h speed signs can be placed throughout the construction zone to re-affirm the speed limit.
            In regards to the post-construction speed limit, I have heard conflicting information about this as the project manager informed me that the speed limit is returning to 80 km/h while MoTI staff said that the 90 km/h zone would be extended east through the McKenzie Interchange site to the Burnside Bridge. I would really appreciate some clarity on this. Thank you.

          • It was the project manager responsible for the Highway 1 four-laning (Leigh Rd to Westshore Pkwy) project who informed me that the 90 km/h zone was being extended on its “southern/eastern end” once work on the McKenzie Interchange segment is completed. They provided this information in response to a question I had about the proposed speed limit increase to 90 km/h in the Leigh Rd area once work in that area is substantially complete.
            Recently, I did notice a new 80 km/h sign, that was turned around not facing traffic, on the highway at the McKenzie Interchange. So I guess that confirms the post-construction speed. However, I wonder if the ministry is not posting the McKenzie Interchange segment at 90 km/h until the 90 km/h zone can be extended at the western/northern end of Highway 1 to Westshore Pkwy. As to have the speed zone changes at both ends of Highway 1 take place at the same time.

          • Hi again Colton – this is actively being evaluated by our engineers. More information will be available in the coming months.

          • Today I was travelling northbound on Highway 1 through the McKenzie Interchange and again the 60 km/h construction speed limit just seems unreasonable given that the highway portion is complete. People who get frustrated behind someone doing 60 km/h make aggressive manoeuvers to get around them which creates an unsafe environment for everyone else. In the last few weeks, I have only seen one worker on the side of the highway. So I do question the need for the reduced 24/7 60 km/h zone. Why can’t “flip-over” signs be installed so that the construction speed limit can be 80 km/h when workers are not present and 60 km/h when workers are present? Also, does MoTI review construction speed limits to ensure that there are set appropriately? Thank you.

          • Thanks for your comment, Colton. We have shared this with the project manager and will let you know what we hear back.

          • Hello again Colton,

            This site is still an active construction zone and the speed limit will be adjusted once construction is complete. The contractor is working on final landscaping and other works. We expect that these works will be completed in the next month. The contractor is responsible for site safety and setting of the construction speed zone as per their Site Specific Safety Plan. We hope that this is helpful.

  33. On the Inland Island Highway, the speed transition from 90 km/hr to 110 km/hr was recently moved from the Parksville (Hwy 19A) Interchange to west of the Englishman River Bridge. I’m curious what the rationale was for making this change? Thank you.

    • Hello again Colton,
      Here’s what we heard back. The ministry had been receiving a lot of concerns from the RCMP and the maintenance contractor with the 110km/h (previously 120km/h) speed across the Englishman River Bridge. When there was an incident, or when the bridge was undergoing maintenance, it was extremely dangerous for staff involved due to the high speeds, and shorter sightlines, and the fact that when they are on a bridge, there are no escape routes (i.e. they cannot dive out of the way of an errant vehicle). The speed zone transition was moved to increase the safety of those emergency and maintenance personnel that have to be on the bridge on a regular basis. Additionally, bridge decks tend to get icy before road surfaces do, and weather can change quickly in the gulley, so it is safer to keep traffic slower for the few hundred metres it takes to get across the bridge. Hope that this information is helpful!

      • Thank you for explaining the reason behind the change. The issue with the moved speed transition is that despite being signed appropriately, it is not obeyed by most drivers. Most people didn’t slow down anywhere near 90 km/h at the old speed transition location. So it is not any better at the new location. Although the RCMP should give drivers a few months to adjust to the change, I do think this area will need to be enforced to actually reduce travel speeds.

        Also, in late-December 2019, the District of Lantzville and Nanoose First Nation requested a reduced speed limit of 80 km/h on Highway 19 through the Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation area. I personally think a speed limit reduction in the area doesn’t make sense given that travel speeds are usually higher than current 90 km/h limit anyway and that the Lantzville Rd intersection was made safer with the installation of a traffic signal last year. However, has the ministry looked into their request and reviewed the speed limit on this stretch of Highway 19? Thank you.

        • Hello again Colton,

          The ministry is aware of the request and a comprehensive review of the Highway 19 corridor between Nanaimo and Nanoose is underway (the speed within Lantzville and the Nanoose First Nations is a part of that study. Hope that this information is helpful.

  34. The small Vancouver Island community of Ladysmith recently experienced a horrendous fatal car accident that took the life of one of it’s members. The speed limit that runs through town on the Trans Canada Hwy changes quickly for a short distance from 90km to 70km and back up again. People rarely change their speed. There was talk of lowering speeds on the TCH in recent history but this section was never adjusted. TCH runs from Victoria to Port Hardy and ranges from 50km in Duncan to 110km north of Parksville. There are weekly accidents on our small stretch of highway and several lives have been lost. How would one go about attempting to have the speed reduced? Thank you in advance

    • Good morning Tonya,

      Thank you for your message. We too were very saddened to hear of this loss and have sent your request for a speed limit reduction on this stretch of the highway to our traffic engineers for their review. We will let you know what we hear back. Safe travels.

      • Is there any update regarding this? I would be curious to hear the findings.

        Also, in January 2019, a Traffic Operations Review for Highway 1 through Ladysmith was completed. The review had many safety recommendations, including restricting the left-out movement at the Grouhel Rd intersection and restricting movements at the South Davis Rd intersection to right-in/right-out and left-in only. Has the ministry begun work to implement the recommendations of the report, especially the intersection safety improvements at the Grouhel Rd intersection and South Davis Rd intersection? The ministry should be proactive and address these safety deficiencies now rather than waiting for a tragic collision to occur before making improvements. Thank you.

        • Thanks for the message Colton, we are still reviewing. We will let you know when we hear back from staff on the issue. We have sent your questions about the recommendations forward and will let you know what we hear back.

          • Any updates regarding the speed review on Highway 1 near Ladysmith?
            I think the 70 km/h zone through Ladysmith and the 90 km/h zone south of Ladysmith should be maintained. But there could be a case to reduce the 90 km/h section north of Ladysmith between Grouhel Rd and Timberlands Rd near Cedar to 80 km/h due to the “bend” through the Oyster Sto-Lo Rd intersection as well as the two unsignalized intersections at Brenton Page Rd and Rocky Creek Rd.

          • Hi Colton,

            Please contact the district office in Nanaimo directly with your concerns on this issue. Here is their contact info:

            3rd floor – 2100 Labieux Rd.
            Nanaimo, BC V9T 6E9

            Hours of operation:
            8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday

  35. The community of Tulameen would like to request to have the speed limit in the town site lowered to 30 km per hour. The Coalmont Road runs right through the community and of particular concern is where Otter Avenue, Nicola and Lockyer converge. There is a small straight stretch in this area and people constantly speed along this stretch. It takes 96 seconds to go from one end of town to the other if a vehicles is travelling 50 km per hour. If a vehicle is travelling 30 km per hour it takes 150 seconds. The town is so small there is no need to speed or to go 50 km per hour. There are logging trucks, all manner of trucks carrying building supplies and heavy tourist traffic in the warmer months. Our concern is for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and that their is an off road vehicle route in the town.
    This matter was brought up at the annual general meeting of the Tulameen Community Club in July and everyone at the meeting was in favor of having the speed limit lowered to 30 km per hour. If you would like a copy of the meeting minutes please send me an email address and I will have the minutes forwarded to Drive Safe B.C.
    We are willing to work with Drive Safe B.C. to get the reduced speed limit implemented. Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

    • Hi Barbara, I recommend contacting the Penticton RCMP detachment for speeding concerns, as they are our enforcement authority on provincial infrastructure. Speed limits are determined by using numerous metrics including, but not limited to, road classification, traffic volumes, road geometry and design and speed percentiles. Lowering speed limits well below that driven by the majority of travellers can pose safety risks. Drivers become frustrated when speed limits do not reflect road characteristics, resulting in rash decisions and dangerous driving behaviour. Additionally, the Tulameen area does not currently meet the requirement for reducing the speed to 30 km/h, as per definitions in the Transportation Act.

  36. We have property in the small community of Tulameen and the Coalmont Road runs straight through town. The speed limit in Tulameen is currently 50 km/hour and we, the community, would like to request to have it lowered to 30 km/hour. The population of our town explodes in the warmer months and we have logging truck traffic, all manner of trucks hauling building supplies as well as a huge increase in tourist traffic. Of particular concern is where Otter Avenue, Nicola and Lockyer all converge. This seems to be the area where vehicles speed up because it is a small straight stretch. Our town is so small there is no need to speed. If a vehicle is travelling 50 km per hour it takes 96 seconds to get from one end of town to the other. Lower the speed to 30 km per hour and it takes 150 seconds. The main concern is safety for pedestrians, people riding bicycles and the fact that Tulameen has an off road vehicle route in the town site.
    This matter was brought up at the annual general meeting of the community club in July and everyone at the meeting was in favor of having the speed limit lowered. If you would like a copy of the meeting minutes please send me an email address and I will have the minutes forwarded to you.
    On behalf of the residents of the community of Tulameen we thank you for your attention to this matter and look forward to any feedback. We are will to work with Drive Safe B.C. to get the speed limit lowered in a timely manner.

    • Barbara,

      Thanks for your request to change the speed limit in Tulameen, and for providing further details.

      I have asked our person responsible for that area, to connect with you on your request, via the email you have provided.

  37. My question is « how often are rural highway speeds re-evaluated? » We live along a stretch of highway with many hidden driveways, blind corners, cross roads, hairpin entrances and of course deer. It’s also our only route in and out of town. We have cyclists and pedestrians (adults and youth) using it as a pathway for exercise and mode of transportation. We are part of a group of concerned citizens who would like to see some changes.

  38. I was kindly referred to this page by a ministry employee, Ashley Cousens, after I wrote an inquiry requesting a lowering of the speed limit in the neighbourhood in which I reside. It amplifies the essence of what I was told. What it doesn’t do is acknowledge that in more progressive jurisdictions, the “majority speed” isn’t accepted as good enough. In progressive regions, roads are engineered to achieve the “desired speed”. This is accomplished through round-abouts, chicanes, bump-outs, speed humps, sight line adjustments and other infrastructure solutions. The risk of injury rises exponentially for pedestrians as speeds rise above 30kph, yet in residential areas, full of pedestrians, the standard for BC continues to be 50kph. I recognize that a posted sign is not the solution. Reducing speeds through active intervention utilizing any of the aforementioned methods is. How many more people will die or suffer serious injury before this province enters the 21st century when it comes to transportation engineering? The proverbial wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. Just look at any country in Northern Europe for inspiration.

    • Hello Jennifer – great question.

      Speed limits on BC Highways can vary – depending on many factors.

      Generally though The BC Motor Vehicle Act establishes the basic or “statutory” speed limit on all public roads: 80km/h outside municipalities and 50km/h within municipalities.

      The respective road authority (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure or incorporated municipality) may alter posted speed limits.

      The regulatory speed limits on ministry highways range from 50 to 110km/h, in 10km/h increments depending on the type of highway. Hope that this helps!

  39. I live on North End Road on Saltspring Island. Posted speed in our area is 60.
    The road is narrow and winding with grass and brush growing right up to the pavement. It’s a beautiful gulf island road. There are lots of bikers in the summer, many hidden driveways, and there are hundreds of deer.
    The highways department was out again today to pick up another carcass.
    Driving legally at 60, it’s often impossible to avoid hitting these deer as they step out of forest onto the road. These accidents are far too common.
    It is a fairly well used road but 60 KPH is just too fast for safety.

    • Hi James. Thank you for writing us with your concerns about the speed limit and deer collisions on North End Road. Highway maintenance contractors identify and record the species and location of each animal killed on BC’s highways. This helps to identify where mitigation efforts are most needed.

      I am sharing your comment with our engineering department and local operations staff.

  40. The majority speed or “just right” speed in most cases is 15-20 KPH above the posted maximum speed posted in BC and everyone knows it. Just as you have mentioned in your article this causes frustration but for some reason nothing ever changes. Remember that the posted speed is the maximum speed implying that one could and should drive below this speed. I challenge you to go out into the real world and drive below the posted speed. You would have some pretty angry drivers behind you in no time and you’d probably be reported to the police for being impaired.

    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your message. We understand your frustration. We acknowledge that while extremely high speeds are dangerous, lowering speed limits well below the majority of travellers can also pose safety risks. Our engineers do not take only the 85th percentile speed into consideration when posting limits on BC highways, we also consider:
      local land use and environment
      road classification
      highway geometry (sight distances, etc.)
      shoulder width, intersections and highway entrance points
      accident history on the highway
      volume and type of traffic on the highway.

      When all of these are factored into the equation – the posted speed limit is the result.

      Hope that this helps to clarify.

      • You understand the frustration of 90% of drivers……the problem is nothing is ever done about it. 50KPH is bicycle speed. Standard 50KPH speed should be 70KPH and 80KPH should be bumped to 100 KPH across the board. Then lower them on a case to case basis.
        Remember we are talking about MAXIMUM speed which means drivers can drive slower if they feel like it. Right now the posted speed is really treated as the MINIMUM speed and you are encouraging people to break the law on a daily basis.

  41. I keep reading that the speed limit is set by the average speed of a majority of drivers on a particular section of road. This is a complete lie. Most cars are driving between 15-20 KPH above the posted speed at most times. Very few drive at or below the posted speed and the ones that do cause extreme frustration as mentioned by you above. As far as I can tell you guys take the comfortable speed that most cars drive at, deduct 20 KPH and post that. Then the police hand out fines like another tax to support ICBC. What I’d like to see is a return to photo radar so the police, judges and the rest of the bureaucracy would have to pay traffic fines like the rest of us. The ticket just comes in the mail and there’s no getting out of it. Maybe then they will post proper speed limits.
    You guys should take a trip to New Zealand some time. They actually post reasonable speed limits and then enforce them with photo radar everywhere. Aside from driving on the wrong side of the road it’s a real breath of fresh air.

    • Thanks for your message Tim – we appreciate hearing from you on this. We understand your frustration. We acknowledge that while extremely high speeds are dangerous, lowering speed limits well below the majority of travellers can also pose safety risks. Our engineers do not take only the 85th percentile speed into consideration when posting limits on BC highways, we also consider:
      local land use and environment
      road classification
      highway geometry (sight distances, etc.)
      shoulder width, intersections and highway entrance points
      accident history on the highway
      volume and type of traffic on the highway.

      When all of these are factored into the equation – the posted speed limit is the result.

      Hope that this helps to clarify.

  42. Thank you for this forum. I have lived on Pender Island, BC, South Gulf Islands, for four years now. It is one of very few places where the drivers are great. The roads here are extremely windy and hilly with no shoulders to speak of. There are very few places where you can look away from the road to check your speed, but because of the road it really isn’t possible to drive faster than 30 to 60kms/h at any point. There are no signs on the island to designate speed except on extreme curves and down grades set at 30km/h. People who don’t live here create hazards, as they will drive to fast or to slow and tend cross over the center line which creates serious a problem as there is no where to go, no shoulders, just ditch or forest.

    This happened to me the yesterday, going into the Driftwood shopping center. Someone crossed the center line coming towards me, where I would normally shift into 3rd gear to descend a steep winding hill to the shopping center. It happened so suddenly that I had to speed up to avoid an accident. The road was slippery and wet, so I couldn’t slow down to quickly for fear of sliding. Luckily there was no other traffic on the road at that point. As I reached the bottom of the hill and started to slow down approaching the shopping center, an RCMP officer pulled me over for speeding. He said I was accelerating as I came down the hill and that I was doing 65km/h in a 50km/h zone. I have a very clean driving record, so not only was it disappointing, but I was trying to avoid an accident due to the other driver and there are no speed limits posted.

    According to CRD Pender Island is considered a rural district, as such BC Highways speed limits are suppose to be 80km/h. There are no signs designating speed on Pender Island or where I received the ticket. There may be one at the ferry terminal fifteen minutes away from the Driftwood center. It’s really not possible anywhere on this island to drive at 80km/h and there is no need to. I am curious to know exactly what is the speed limit on Pender Island? Mostly, we all driver safely here, as there are no shoulders on the roads which also poses a great risk for pedestrians and cyclists and so we try to take great care. Most of us are not rich either on this island, and there has never been an officer giving out tickets before. As such it seems to be important for more clarity for us all. Thank you for your attention and thoughts.
    Best Wishes

    • Hello Jesai,

      Thanks for your message. We asked our traffic engineers your question and they let us know that Pender Island is covered under a blanket speed zone of 50 km/h. This speed zone was established in 1969 and covers all public roads on North and South Pender Island. So, unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on Pender is 50 km/h and has been for a very long time. We can’t confirm where exactly a sign is posted stating as such, but presume it is at the ferry terminal.

  43. I would like to know how a person or persons go about having
    A speed limit changed. What steps do we need to take to start the process.
    Thank you. I await your reply.

    Brent Skode

    • Hi Patricia,

      Looks like Kehler Street is in the Municipality of Chilliwack. Typically municipality roads are 50 km unless otherwise posted, but we encourage you to contact Chilliwack directly to confirm this.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jason. The BC Motor Vehicle Act establishes the basic or “statutory” speed limit on all public roads: 80km/h outside municipalities and 50km/h within municipalities.

    • Good morning Marianne – Gundy Road is a Private Development Road and is unfortunately not a part of our public road inventory. We suggest you contact the BC Oil and Gas Commission. They should have the contact information for the company that owns Gundy Road. The Fort St John OGC contact is: 250-794-5200
      Hope that this helps!

    • Hi Ed,

      Thanks for your comment. We aren’t sure we fully understand your question. The posted speed limit on the Upper Levels Highway in West Vancouver is 90 km/hr and 80km/hr through North Vancouver. Are you looking for other information than this? Let us know. Thanks!

    • Hello Jenn – thanks for your question.

      The BC Motor Vehicle Act establishes the basic or “statutory” speed limit on all public roads: 80km/h outside municipalities and 50km/h within municipalities. The respective road authority (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure or incorporated municipality) may alter posted speed limits. If you live within a municipality, and you don’t see a posted speed limit sign on your residential road, check directly with them. Hope that this helps.

  44. How does someone go about suggesting a modification where speed limits change? Along Highway 3 in Jaffray, there is a 70/100 change and where it is currently placed is dangerous – the transition should be much further East so traffic can properly slow down before town as well as not speed up so quickly while still in town. Is there something formal I can request?

    • Hi Adam – thanks for letting us know your concern. We are going to share this concern with our traffic engineers who recently reviewed the speed limits across the province, and ask them for their input on why the speed it set as it is in this location. Stay tuned.

    • Hello again Adam, we sent your comment forward to our engineers and they have asked that you connect directly with the local area manager regarding your request. Local Area Road Managers know everything about the operation of the roads they look after and are familiar with all aspects of road operations, including their speed zoning. As such, they would explain the rationale behind the current speed limit in place. They can also ask the regional traffic engineering team to review zones in their area. The Road Area Manager for Jaffray is:
      Monique Gairns
      (250) 426-1519 (O)

      Hope that this helps!

  45. I have noticed a lot of drivers seem to speed up prier to reaching a speed limit changed sign. For example In Chetwynd they moved a speed sign so when heading east just before a driver climbs what locals call Wabbi hill, most drivers start to accelerate from 50 to 70km from 1/2 km to 3/4 of a km from the 70km sign and are doing 80km+ when they go by the 70km sign before they get to the 100km speed sign they are doing 100+kms (this is baced on how fast they pass me and when I see them going past the signs and not on me trying to clock their speed with my vehicle). I know it’s been a while since I took my drivers training but is there not something in the drivers manual that explains when it is safe for drivers to change their speeds? Or where would someone learn the proper time to accelerate or decelerate?

  46. Highway 17 from Surrey to Delta is 80Km/h.. NOBODY goes 80.. everyone goes 100 or 110.. why is it still 80? its unsafe and dangerous to have such slow drivers on such a fast road.. even the semi trucks drive 120 on it.. I don’t get it BC.. your speed limits are soo Nanny state.. oh no my children are gonna crash and die if I let them drive a reasonable speed for the conditions and let them be adults who drive cars instead of treating them like children.. anyways freeways everywhere else in the world are like 130km/h.. highways are 100.. country roads are 80.. city roads are 50 or 60. and in dense areas its sometimes 30.. but it feels right.. it feels like 100 is a max.. it feels like 130 is crazy in the rain.. it feels like 60 is too fast sometimes too.. the speed limits everywhere else I’ve been are actual limits.. here we have this 85th percentile shit.. but obviously they don’t check with the 85% of us who drive 20km over the speed limit on a regular basis because its simply too slow.. anyways I’ve got 2 speed tickets not his damn road.. and Im fighting them because they are unjust.. especially when everyones doing it.. and 85th percentile means nothing obviously when people obviously know its still safe..

    • Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on speed limits set for Highway 17 from Surrey to Delta.

      I will forward you comments to our traffic engineers responsible for that area.

  47. I live in Tulameen,BC, Otter Road runs through the middle of the community and has a posted speed limit of 50KMH. The speed limit needs to reduced to 30, on any given weekend this road can be lined with any number of cars, trucks, quads, motorcycles, bikes, children, dogs, side by sides, or all of them at one time. The shoulder is gravel and is very dusty. If Princeton can have a 30 k zone in their downtown store fronts, a resort town with a highway running through the middle should have also. There 10 intersections on this stretch through town and there are over 50 driveways accessing this road.

          • On a side note is it possible to have the gravel removed from the road edge from the winter.

          • Sweeping the roads is the responsibility of the maintenance contractor (Argo). They will typically do this in the spring, once the snow has melted. We will share your request with our local area manager, but you can also send in a request directly to Argo at: 1-800-661-2025

          • Hi there Linda,

            Our local area manager just informed us that Argo should start their routine sweeping work in your area next week.

  48. I live on departure bay road in Nanaimo across from a popular beach and childrens play area. I can not understand why the speed limit along this beach strip is 50 km/h.This is a very busy playground and also very busy roadway. The motor vehicles act states playground speed limits are 30 km\h from dawn to dusk.

  49. I really don’t understand, why the main road our driveway ends too is a 80 Zone!
    We got 2 young children and not the only family on this road, we all are afraid that our kids will be run over by the many people who are rushing from and to the Ferries daily !!! Who would not think about all the families who lives here on this road? … Not acceptable!!! should be a 30 or max 50 zone. Not at all a 80 zone!!!!!!!!

  50. I am quite dismayed at the lack of policing or engineering for speeding drivers in West Vancouver to Burnaby along Highway 1 . We have only 2 exit points to the south. Highway 1 has some major engineering flaws that are due to the bridge crossing allignment at Capilano River, and the snakey mess at the bottom of the cut onto the second narrows. I really can’t understand why the government is so cheap that they dont either FIX IT, or police it so people get the MESSAGE. People drive way too fast in these areas and subsequently cause huge delay costs to loss of revenue for people crossing the two bridges. Everytime it rains after a dry spell, people wonder why did that car slam into the corner, and cause a pile up. But the occassional accident will happen anywhere. The problem is you can’t expect the unfamiliar, distracted, uneducated drivers who cause these accidents to be as responsible for an engineering and enforcement problem. Each accident costs Canada more than would enforcing the speed limit with cameras or cops in loss of earnings due to multiple car pile ups and delays to motorists during rush hour and loss of life during other times. Put in cameras. Fine them appropriately. And make them all do community time cleaning the garbage off the street wearing a sign saying they were a speed violator.

  51. Morning everyone just happen to stumble onto this site. Totally agree with Michel.For I too live in 70 Mi House on the hwy. If Any one agrees to th lowering th speed limit here
    pls let it be known to Min Hwys 100 mi bc, DOT Kamloops BC, Clinton RCMP. Did you know w are th only community in BC wifi no reduced speed limit.Go figure. Yours Tridawn

  52. Many drivers are seriously overestimating their driving abilities concerning speed. After driving for a while they lulled into a false sense of security and are so surprised after colliding with an animal or after spinning off the road. They always say something to either blame the road or the animal. These kinds of “accidents” could be minimized with a lower speed limit. Also what about fuel economy and this crap about carbon emissions? Perhaps with today’s fuel prices and insurance rates a lower speed limit is warranted. Don’t’ even get me started about the idiots texting and how the police are virtually powerless to stop.

  53. Commerce cannot flow safely and efficiently on roads fundamentally unchanged since they were designed in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. I speak primarily of the hazards to which motorists are now placed, because of the excessive amount of heavy truck traffic permitted to roll on 2 lane highways such as 1, 16 and southbound to Kamloops. The Rogers Pass highway between Golden and Revelstoke on the evening of November 8, 2013, was nothing less than perilous because of the wet conditions, with muddy spray from the dozens upon dozens of multiple wheelers eliminating visibility especially in the turns. Trucks should have been halted at Golden as soon as darkness fell. The mountains present challenges for highway designers, but truck traffic must be restrained. Much of the cargo now travelling by truck ought to go by rail, which will require federal and provincial legislative intervention. Finally, it is disgraceful that Canada’s alleged Trans-Canada Highway, though BC, has not been upgraded everywhere to even 1965’s Interstate Highway standards. The Federal government’s meager efforts to fund highway upgrades, are unsatisfactory.

  54. In order to have higher speed limits BC needs to address the shoulder widths. There are many areas with inadequate shoulder widths for cyclists creating potentially deadly situations. Take highway 16 for example between Prince George and Vanderhoof. The speed limit is 100 km/h but for large portions of it it only has a 30 cm wide paved shoulder. The shoulder should be at least 2.0 m to provide safe passing of cyclists while remaining in ones lane and provide safe stopping areas for broken vehicles.

    It is pretty typical to see sections of highway where shoulders disappear completely for sections with a passing lane, concrete no post barrier or tunnels. These sections of highway need to be addressed. There are many other shoulder hazards as well including catch basins, debris and rumble strips.

    In order for speed limits to be raised safety needs to be addressed for all users. Even current speed limits do not allow for safe cycling so these issues need to be addressed.

    The highways ministry should plan and fund physically separated bike routes. New highway installations should include separated routes including the Highway 99 corridor. I was very disappointed that the SFPR did not include a parallel multi-use path.

    • Thanks for your feedback Tim. We will share your concern about Highway 16 with the area office. With the recent announcement of the replacement of the Massey Tunnel along Highway 99, we are focused on planning for transit/cycling solutions that will provide the most benefit to commuters and travellers along this corridor.

  55. A law which is not obeyed by even 50% of the population is a terrible law. It incites disrespect for the law. 1950s speed limits are easy to justify by the lazy approach of chanting a single slogan: “safety, safety, safety.” How can anyone be against safety. But a zero speed limit would be the ultimate in safety. The speed limit should be set at that speed which 90% of the population drive below.

  56. The 85th percentile speed, alluded to in the article, and over-relied upon by the engineers is an outdated concept developed by the US Highways Administration in the 1960’s. While it may still have some validity on major divided highways, engineers, perhaps out of sheer laziness, have adopted this as a rule of thumb for all roads. According to the 85th percentile rule the slower you go the more danger you are in. This is just plain stupidity on roads other than major highways. The default speed limit should not be more than 40 kph for municipal streets and even better, 30 kph for residential streets. This would allow municipalities the freedom to set higher limits for major cross town connectors without having to post the lower, more appropriate, speed limits on the much more numerous residential streets. It is time our traffic engineers moved into the 21st century. Roads are for moving people, not just for cars!

    • Is this site even monitored any more? If so, I whole heartedly agree with Bob’s position on lowering the urban street traffic speed to 30 km/hr.
      Municipal road engineers are still designing streets to the 50 km/hr standard and then when actual speeds creep up to 60-70 km/hr because the streets are inviting those speeds, traffic calming measures are called for and if those don’t succeed because of lack of support it falls on the police to enforce the speeds. Needless to say, its not a high priority for police and so the neighbourhood suffers the consequences of this provincial guideline.

      Time to change it. And don’t leave it to the BCFM as they whine about the cost of the replacing signage.

      • Hi John,

        Thanks for your comments about lowering speed limits in urban areas. I will share them forward with our people responsible for setting speed advisories.

        Please be aware that the speed set on most municipal roads, is chosen by the city, town, village, etc.

  57. We need to pass laws such that the ministry have to transparently publish how speed limits are set for all roads.

    We need to look towards a better motoring country like Germany as our goal, where the roads are not only safer, but also much more efficient to travel on… Is this too much to ask for from TranBC?

    • There is a law for this BiscottiGelato. It’s called the Freedom of Information (and Protection of Privacy) Act. Simply ask and you’ll receive whatever public documents you wish.

  58. The speed limits are not to blame. People need to exercise more patience and stop acting as if the world owes them everything. I used to be this way until I realized patience in fact does work. I travel from Vancouver to the Kootenays often and have found that I make the exact same time whether I speed or go the speed limit. Also, driving in the lower mainland I often laugh when people race to the next red light. It’s as if they can’t wait to wear out their vehicle faster… I have to agree that sometimes speed limits feel too low but if people were more patient they’d realize speeding is just another bad habit that will eventually lead to bigger problems.

  59. It says in the article there are a number of factors are used in determining speed limits. Sight lines, the terrain, and the types of vehicles on the road are a few. A couple things people fail to realize is that BC is very mountainous terrain, and believe it or not, four wheel vehicles are not the only thing on the road.
    Varying speeds has been a reason cited as a dangerous situation. This makes it dangerous for the excessive speeds that people already travel. If you’re traveling at your usual 130+ kmh and you come around a corner to see a semi truck doing only 50 kmh because of a crazy little thing called gravity, then YOU have created a dangerous situation because you have to slam on your brakes and/or swerve into another lane.
    The short amount of time you save by doing 20 – 30 kmh over is not worth the risks you put everyone in.

    • You are joking right !!! people in BC don’t see mountains etc . I don’t think you should be commenting anymore Kevin and perhaps you should hand in your license

  60. 18,000 drivers have had their vehicles impounded since 2010 for “excessive speed”, and these are just the ones who were caught. That doesn’t include drivers who drive 10-30kph over the limit on our freeways.

    This level of compliance with freeway limits is a pretty clear indication that speed limits aren’t set according to 85th percentile travel speeds in BC.

      • “just because most people drive too fast,doesn’t make it right”…

        What utter nonsense. The speed limit in B.C. before we were converted to the “metric system” was 70 mph as it continues to be in Washington State. That was in the days of inferior automobiles. Kevin can drive at a slower speed in the right hand lane if he chooses. He inferior driving abilities should not reflect on other skilled drivers. In fact, if Kevin is not capable, he should not have a drivers licence.