SWOV Catalogus


Rural highway safety and speed review : three-year post-implementation update.
20200376 ST [electronic version only]

[Victoria, BC], Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, 2018, 18 p., 11 ref.

Samenvatting The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure operates over 47,000 km of highway in the province. In 2013, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure initiated the Rural Highway Safety and Speed review. This review included province wide consultation on various aspects of highway safety, including; speed limits, slower moving vehicles, wildlife hazards, and use of winter tires. In 2014, based on an engineering review of over 9,100 km of rural provincial highway, government increased the speed limit on 33 highway segments totalling 1,300 km of rural provincial highway. In 2016, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure undertook a preliminary review of the postimplementation performance on these highways using one year of speed and safety data. It was found that the collision rate decreased or remained the same on 19 segments; however 14 segments had increased serious collision rates. Safety improvements were initiated on the 14 segments including; rolling back the speed limit on two segments (Highway 1 Hope to Boston Bar and Highway 5A Princeton to Merritt), implementing two variable speed limit systems, enhanced roadway delineation, upgraded signing, and improvement to educational messaging on dynamic message signs. This report provides the three-year post-implementation review of the speed limit changes, considering both 85th percentile speeds and safety performance. Annual speed surveys were conducted on the 33 changed highway segments. From the speed survey results, 85th percentile speeds were calculated. The 85th percentile speed is a representation of the speed at which reasonable and prudent drivers choose to travel. The 85th percentile speed decreased or stayed the same on 14 segments and increased on 19 segments. The three-year post-implementation safety evaluation was conducted by specialists in road safety within the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure using a statistical method (before-and-after Empirical Bayes analysis). This method is a standard in the transportation safety industry and improves the accuracy of results. Analysis of individual segments showed no substantial change in safety for 16 (641 km) of the 33 highway segments where speed limits were changed in 2014. However, 17 segments (654 km) showed a reduction in safety. Overall, the safety evaluation showed an 11.2% increase in serious (fatal and injury) collisions for all segments (but not including those segments with variable speed limits (VSLS) or where speeds were rolled back in 2016). The three-year post-implementation results are consistent with the preliminary 2016 safety analysis results which found an overall 11.1% increase in serious collisions. When police attend a collision site, they gather data on the collision type as well as the factors that contributed to the crash. The top three contributing factors for serious collisions for all highways with speed limit changes, as well as all numbered highways in British Columbia, continue to be driver inattentiveness, road conditions, and driving too fast for conditions. (Author/publisher)
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