Speed Contrary to an Area Sign

Speed Area SignAs a knowledgeable driver you are aware of the three blanket speed limits that cover the whole province of British Columbia. These limits are 80 km/h outside a municipality, 50 km/h in a municipality and 20 km/h on a municipal lane. There is one more method of setting a smaller blanket speed zone and that is through the use of an area sign.

Area signs may set a blanket speed limit of 60 km/h or less and provide for exceptions through the words "unless otherwise posted" shown on the sign. These smaller blanket zones are advertised in the British Columbia Gazette published by the Queen's Printer. Unfortunately, on line access to the Gazette only comes at a price. If you are curious about the extend of an area zone, the easiest free access to the Gazette is at your local library.

As with any speed sign, you are expected to be traveling at the posted limit as you pass it. Should you encounter an exception by passing a sign with a higher limit, be prepared to slow back to the area limit if you turn onto another highway and don't see a sign telling you that you may do otherwise or you know that you have left the boundaries of the blanket area.

Violations of area speed zone limits carry the same penalty as all other speeding offences.


Submitted by E-Mail

I travel highway 19 a fair amount and have some observations:
a) Most drivers travel at 120 KM under good driving conditions.
b) The 90 KM signs at Cook and Horne lake are ignored by most drivers.
c) The location of the 90 KM signs are approx. .5 KM from the intersection.
      Since the signs are there for the intersection, why are they located
      so far away?
If the police enforce the speed limit at the point of the signs, they should
also enforce that limit after the intersection until the 110 KM sign is reached.
Both of these scenarios seem somewhat ridiculous  if controlling the intersection
is the point of the exercise.
I don’t understand why there is a reduction in speed limits at these lighted
intersections. The yellow lights are very visible at a distance that allows
a car to stop if they are flashing. If there is a collision because of a stupid driver running a red light,
there would be very little difference in the damage if the car was going 90 or 110 KM.
Since very few drivers obey this speed reduction, and the police appear to not take much
interest in enforcing it, why not do away with it.
I have been passed while doing 90 KM in the intersection by drivers continuing to do 110 KM.
This would seem to be more dangerous than if we were both doing 110 KM through the


How and where police enforce speed limits depend on the officer and what the officer may have been ordered to focus on. Generally it is expected today that enforcement focuses on high collision locations. It is impractical to enforce precisely to the boundary of speed limits, but I didn't have a problem doing this when the driver was over the speed limit in the zone that they were leaving.

The speed zones are mandated by highway design practice. You can find out about some of these practices on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure's web site. Failing to follow these accepted engineering practices would leave the government and construction companies open to civil action in the event of a crash.

Just because drivers fail to follow and you don't see police doing enforcement does not mean that these zones should be done away with. Unlike you, I don't have much faith in the average driver's ability to make the right choice on their own.

Finally, it depends on what risk you are talking about. The risk to the two of you doing 110 travelling side by side might be minimal, but you are not the only road users out there.

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