Q&A - Minimum Speed Sign Spacing

Q&A ImageAre there regulations in BC’s motor vehicle laws that say how far apart speed limit signs have to be in order to properly inform the public as to what the speed limit is?

I have found a reference to this in Ontario by searching the internet, but not for BC so far.



Well, this is a question that I haven't ever been asked!

I know that if you don't see a sign, you are automatically limited to 80 km/h out of town, 50 km/h inside a municipality and 20 km/h in a lane. There is a section in the Motor Vehicle Act that talks about speed (and other) signs:

Sign as evidence

201 The existence of a sign permitted by this Act and purporting to regulate the use of the highway in any manner is evidence the sign was duly erected and maintained by the proper authority under this Act and in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

The best I could find on spacing is:

On long uninterrupted sections of rural highway, an R-4 sign should be erected, as a minimum of every 15 to 20 km. Speed zones of 50 km/h or less in urban areas do not generally require Confirmatory signs.

This was taken from the Manual of Standard Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings.

If you are asking this in the context of a speeding ticket defence where one of the 80/50/20 speeds mentioned in the second paragraph above is involved (no sign needed at all) the officer will have to satisfy the court that the signs were posted and that you had passed by them prior to being measured. It is not required for the officer to show that you actually saw them, just that they were there to be seen.

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