Q&A - Minimum Speed Limit?

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Is there a minimum speed on municipal roads? For example, if a road has a designated speed limit of 50 km/h, is there an inferred or statuatory minimum speed for that road?


Slow Driving

I touch on the subject of slow drivers in the article on this site titled, what else, Slow Drivers.

There is only one minimum speed limit set in the province of British Columbia, and that is on limited access highways, otherwise commonly known as freeways:

Schedule 1 highways restrictions

19.07 (1) Except as authorized by a permit issued by the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and except for crossing a highway at an intersection, use of any highway named in Schedule 1 by the following is prohibited at all times:

(e) vehicles incapable of maintaining a minimum speed of 60 km/h on level road, except construction or maintenance equipment owned or hired by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure while working on or travelling to or from a worksite located on a highway named in Schedule 1.

Schedule 1 — Highways

(1) Trans-Canada Highway #1 from the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay to the north approach to the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Bridge; from its intersection with Rupert Street to its junction with Route #3 in Hope; from its junction with the Coquihalla Highway (Afton Interchange) on the west approach to Kamloops to its junction with the Yellowhead Highway on the east approach to Kamloops.

(2) Hope-Princeton Highway #3 from its junction with the Trans-Canada Highway in Hope to its junction with the Coquihalla Highway, 7.7 km east.

(3) Coquihalla Highway #5 from its junction with the Hope-Princeton Highway, 7.7 km east of Hope to its junction with the Trans-Canada Highway (Afton Interchange) on the west approach to Kamloops.

(4) Annacis Highway #91 from its interchange with the Vancouver-Blaine Highway to the south approach to the Annacis Bridge; from the north approach to the Annacis Bridge to the south approach to the East Channel Bridge; from the north approach to the East Channel Bridge to the Richmond Connector.

(5) Annacis Highway #91A from the Richmond Connector to the south approach to the Queensborough Bridge.

(6) Vancouver-Blaine Highway #99 from 1st Avenue in Surrey to the south approach of the Oak Street Bridge.

(7) Okanagan Connector Highway #97C from its junction with Highway 5A to its junction with Okanagan Highway 97, a total distance of approximately 84 kilometres.

(8) The Inland Island Highway 19 from Craigs Crossing south of Parksville to its intersection with Highway 19A at Willow/Tamarac in Campbell River.

(9) Highway 19 from its North Cedar Road intersection with Trans-Canada Highway 1, south of Nanaimo, to its intersection with Highway 19A north of Nanaimo.

Driver's Test

as i suspected, there is no minimum speed limit other than on our very few provincial expressways.

the reason i asked is because my 17 year old daughter recently failed her driver's examination.

the reason? "driving too slow".

the fact of the matter is that she was driving at 40 or 45 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. incidentally, her course along that street was for a length of two blocks or so...the instructor had told her to turn right at such and such a street, so she was not overly concerned about hustling up to 50 since she would be slowing for the turn.

if that constitutes slow driving, probably a good 20 or 30% of the drivers on the road in lower mainland municipalities drive too slow!

i have taken great pains to have her obey the speed limits and other restrictions, telling her that as her confidence in her abilities grows she will be better able to drive - get up to a safe travelling speed faster, etc. at different times on highway #1 and other expressways,

i have reminded her to travel right and pass left. that is a courtesy long forgotten. lol it leads me to wonder the evenness of examinations and how they are applied...

That is Sad

40 to 45 in a 50 zone should not be grounds to fail a drivers test, especially on multi-laned road where the driver stays in the right hand lane so as not to inconvenience others. I spent so much time trying to slow drivers down during my policing career that it seems contrary to have ICBC complain when someone finds a reason to travel at less than the maximum. It is the maximum, not the minimum shown on the sign.

You may wish to query ICBC on their policy. I always have good success using the e-mail address feedback@icbc.com They usually respond within a day or so. If you do, it would be nice if you would share the answer with us.


there is of course no recourse? not to get those guys in trouble, but it seems to be they should attempt to be even in grading drivers, and certainly not cite non-existent "laws".

they did mention slow driving giving rise to road rage. funny, with all the focus our beloved police officers put on speeding (instead of the many other matters that more directly cause accidents) that a driving examiner would discourage a new driver, one who is also nervous because of the test, from driving within what he/she considers their ability.

i would suggest that the lack of any meaningful new roads over the years, combined with a surging population, is more to blame than someone driving either at 60 or 40 in a 50 zone.

i am teaching my daughter about courtesy, also. to not travel in someone's blind spot. to be aware of the impact of speed, etc, on other drivers. generally, to be courteous and defensive.


I have messaged ICBC's spokesperson and asked if they would consider commenting on this topic here.


the silliest thing of it is the inconsistency in testing, it is hardly objective.

a friend of my daughter's took his test in surrey, had far many more notations on his form for various minor things, and still was granted his N license.

our roads are full of slow drivers....slow starting after a stop, taking blocks to get up to travelling speed, hesitating even when the way is clear and they have right of way.

another irritating thing...waiting to turn left.i was taught, by professional instructors and my parents, that if you were the first vehicle you proceed into the intersection, left turn signal on, and wait with the wheels pointed forward until it is clear to safely turn. time and again, especially here in surrey, drivers stay behind the stop line then turn left on the yellow light.  i have told many of them that if they are stopped back of the line, then it is illegal to cross that line on a yellow light. an elderly friend of mine took her driving instruction here in Surrey probably about the same time i took mine in north vancouver. she was taught to stay behind the line/not enter the intersection.

so, evidently there is nothing new in the inconsistency.

i too would prefer an uncertain/new driver to err on the side of caution and travel more slowly.  at the same time, they should be taught courtesy and to at all times keep left.

frankly, i think that ICBC has far too much influence in this province.  their role should simply be that of an insurer....perhaps providing advice, but i do not think that they should be setting policy.  it is difficult enough to drive across town without having new rules and regulations thrown up all the time ... traffic calmed streets, and other such nuisances. effective policing of all infractions, not just speeding, should be the norm.

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