HALIFAX – Regional council is meeting today to debate the transportation committee’s recommendation to ask the province to lower speed limits in the municipality’s residential areas.
Executive director of the Halifax Cycling Coalition Kelsey Lane supports the motion being presented by the committee.
“We certainly support the lower speed limits on streets,” said Lane. “We think it’s very important for vulnerable road users and especially for the city as a whole.”
Lane said collisions with a vehicle at a speed of 50 km/h have a fatality rate of 22 per cent, but the probability of death or serious injury is lowered when the speed limit is lower.
“Its almost a one in four chance that if you’re struck by a vehicle at that speed that it will be a fatality,” said Lane. “Where as it is a six per cent chance at 30 km/h.”
“It is important to note I think the impact this will have for everybody in the residential area to see that drop in speed limit,” said Lane.
“It really means a commitment to seeing limited or perhaps even zero fatalities in the city center while is very exciting.”
Pedestrian safety advocate Norm Collins also applauds the idea of lower speed limits and says it can do nothing but good.
“If they don’t get all the way down to 40 but still it causes them to reduce their speed it’s going to be a very positive outcome for the safety of pedestrians,” said Collins.
Collins added when cars are moving at a slower pace it makes collisions more avoidable.
District 4 councilor Lorelel Nicoll said under the plan the main arteries would remain at 50 km/h and only the side streets will change.