EDITORIAL: ‘Rural’ road safety

The process for changing speed limits is quite different depending on the jurisdiction

Sadly, it often takes tragedy before real action is taken.

The death of an 80-year-old woman in the Morningstar area of French Creek — she was hit by a vehicle whose driver may not have even known that it happened — has brought other issues to light that expand beyond the immediate neighbourhood.

However, the issues do start right in Morningstar, specifically as they relate to speed limits.

Police say the tragedy last week was not related to speed. Police also tell us they have not identified speeding as an issue on the road in question (Roberton Boulevard).

Residents of the area likely disagree with the sentiment expressed in that last sentence.

A petition with 169 signatures — collected before the deadly incident last week — was sent to the Ministry of Transportation, MLA Michelle Stilwell and RDN rep Joe Stanhope. Along with the petition was a letter that alleged a “lack of concern” by officials “in providing adequate measures to control the speed of vehicle traffic on the ‘S’ curve of Roberton.” The letter went further, suggesting if action isn’t taken, “we will definitely have a serious injury or worse, a fatality.”

Changing a speed limit on a roadway is not a simple procedure. It seems to be a more difficult task for roads that fall outside municipal boundaries, as this neighbourhood does. When a town or city wants a change in speed limit, they can do it through a council motion, as Parksville did recently near Foster Park. It’s not so cut-and-dried for rural areas, which must work through the Ministry of Transportation.

Thing is, the Roberton/Morningstar area is hardly rural. Same with Sandpiper. Or Columbia Beach. Lower property taxes and development cost charges in the Regional District of Nanaimo have resulted in a mini building boom on the land around French Creek. It seems more homes have been built there in the last few years than in Parksville and Qualicum Beach combined.

Still, the RDN and Ministry of Transportation seem to treat these urban areas with some of the same rules they would for deep, rural Errington.

Not too many years ago, in a place where Premier Christy Clark is now the MLA, the province came calling and told the people of West Kelowna they could no longer get the rural discounts, they could no longer be governed by the regional district model and had to choose, through a referendum, to join Kelowna or go it alone. Hmmm…

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Motorcyclist collides with bear in Coombs

The man was transported to hospital

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Parksville volunteer hits her $10,000 target

LeMoine raises funds for Camp Goodtimes

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Vancouver Island leads nation in medically assisted deaths

Island residents choose assisted death five times more than other Canadians

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read