Vancouver, BC / December 12, 2017 – Local cycling charitable organization HUB Cycling is calling on the Provincial Government to commit to modernizing the BC Motor Vehicle Act in order to improve road safety for vulnerable road users.
“Modernizing our Motor Vehicle Act will help BC reach the targets of the Provincial Government’s Road Safety Strategy and Vision Zero,” says David Hay Q.C., Chair of the Road Safety Law Reform Group. “ICBC has recently been talking about introducing personal injury compensation caps as a means to save money. However, what we need is to prevent crashes from happening in the first place – not measures to reduce ICBC premiums which result in the reduction of legal rights of vulnerable road users.”
HUB Cycling is part of the Road Safety Law Reform Group, a consortium that includes the BC Trial Lawyers Association, the BC Cycling Coalition and public health researchers, representing over 50,000 members. The Group has compiled a detailed list of recommendations to modernize the Motor Vehicle Act, which can be found in full at bikehub.ca/mva.
Cycling and walking are popular activities enjoyed by the majority of people in British Columbia. Almost 70% of adults in BC ride a bicycle at least once a year, 42% at least once a month and 25% at least once a week. All British Columbians walk or roll at some point in their day.
Setting default neighbourhood speed limits at 30km/hour will dramatically improve safety in our communities. It is widely recommended by health agencies, including the World Health Organization and BC’s Provincial Health Officer. Most people want slower speeds in their neighbourhoods: in a 2013 survey by the Canadian Automobile Association, 94% of respondents reported that speeding on residential streets was a serious threat to their personal safety.
Evidence & Support: In London, the introduction of 20 miles/h (32 km/h) zones was associated with a 42% reduction in road casualties.
“We are recommending a Safe Speeds Law that would require all vehicles to travel at a maximum 30km/hour on neighbourhood streets (streets without a centre line) as the default speed limit. Exceptions would need to be specified with a sign on each block,” says Navdeep Chhina, HUB Cycling’s Director of Communications.
“Updated legislation, reframed as the Road Safety Act, would protect all road users, including our most vulnerable: those walking and cycling,” adds Chhina. “By reducing the potential for collisions, it would also benefit all road users including motorists by helping to keep ICBC premiums low.
We are encouraged that the Finance Committee’s Report on the Budget 2018 Consultation recommends that the government create a provincial active transportation strategy, including increased investment in active transportation infrastructure, education and promotion, as well as safety initiatives. A key part of this strategy should be reforms to the Motor Vehicle Act.
You can read the Road Safety Law Reform Group’s full position paper here.
About HUB Cycling
HUB makes cycling better through education, action and events because more people cycling means healthier, happier, more connected communities. HUB is leading the way in making cycling an attractive transportation choice for everyone.
HUB is a charitable non-profit that has spent the last 19 years removing barriers to cycling in Metro Vancouver, while cultivating the health, environmental, and economic benefits that active transportation can bring. HUB has educated thousands of people, motivated thousands more, and championed improvements that benefit current and future bike commuters. For more information, visit HUB Cycling.
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