Editorial: Speed-limit debate returns

Speed limits are back on the political agenda in the City of Victoria, and they are bound to get voters and election candidates worked up.

In launching her bid for re-election, Mayor Lisa Helps included a promise to push for 30-km/h speed limits on all low-traffic neighbourhood streets. She said it’s a frequent topic among voters she meets.

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The new proposal would cover streets with fewer than 1,000 vehicle trips per day. By comparison, Blanshard Street has more than 18,000 a day.

A limit of 30 km/h is painfully slow for most drivers, too many of whom seem unable to hit that mark in school zones. Enforcing it effectively would place a huge drain on police resources. Not enforcing it would invite contempt for the law.

It’s not clear that a reduction on lightly travelled streets would pay off in terms of safety. In contrast, greater enforcement of school zones, including speed cameras, would address an obvious problem. That’s a better use of police officers’ time.

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