Highway now raceway with new speed limits

Writer expresses her concerns with new limits and resulting change in attitudes.

Open letter to  B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone:

I am writing to express my concern over increased speed limits in the area that I live.

I live in Sicamous. Both highways (Trans-Canada and 97A) are a concern and now that winter conditions have arrived, I will no longer wait to communicate.

Sicamous is a community that relies on connections to neighbouring communities for most everything.  My doctor and specialists that I see are in Salmon Arm and Vernon. Something as basic as a broken wrist, requires driving and finding someone to do that. Physio requires driving.

Seniors and young drivers have to be on the road.

The speed limit of 100 kilometres to Salmon Arm has allowed speeders the right of way. It allows semi drivers to tailgate and intimidate anyone in front of them.

I am glad I don’t have a teenager learning how to drive in these conditions.

As a young senior, if driving conditions stay this way, I will consider moving.

Highway 97A along Mara Lake is now 90 km/hr.  In good conditions this is unreasonable. If wildlife or anything enters your lane you have two choices, the lake or the mountain.

At this time of the year it is dark at 4 p.m. and black ice is common due to fog and increased humidity. Visibility is limited and glare is a problem.

These conditions are especially bad when a semi is tailgating and all you can see is a grill and lights shining in the back of your vehicle. Turning your rear view mirror helps but doesn’t solve the problem.

Intimidation and pushing is normal.

The increased speed limits have changed attitudes. We no longer go for a drive. It’s now a race.

Defensive driving has become aggressive, get-out-of-my-way driving, including passing on solid lines. This is unfortunate because people who are good defensive drivers are being forced to drive out of their comfort zone.

I don’t buy the ‘keep-up-with-the-flow argument.’ Some people should not keep up with the flow but they should be able to drive.

Four days ago we had a skiff of snow and wet conditions since.

It’s interesting to know that Highway 1 has been closed four times in those four days. This is just the beginning.

Please don’t tell me drivers will slow down and drive according to the conditions. Some do, but most think they’re driving vehicles that will allow them to maintain the speed limit, a speed limit that means driving 10 over is now acceptable.

Please consider the consequences and consider returning the speed limits to the speeds they were in this area.

I hope the next person we read about won’t be one of our family members, but it most likely will be someone we know.

Margaret Bloor