Editorial: No solution for driver impatience

In this week’s online poll, which can be found on our homepage at langleytimes.com, we’ve asked readers whether they believe the speed limit along 16 Avenue through Langley should be raised from 60 km/h to 80 km/h, as per a suggestion from one of our letter writers.

His contention is that if all the traffic is moving at roughly the same (higher) speed, driver frustration, and thus the risk of crashes, would be reduced.

So far, the results of the poll are pretty evenly split, but the chance of such an adjustment actually being made is pretty low.

Instead, the Township is looking at ways to try to get drivers to slow down and observe the posted limit of 60 km/h, both through the use of more signage and increased speed enforcement.

It’s a tough call. We know the faster a vehicle is moving, the worse it and its passengers will fare in a crash.

But human nature is not an easy thing to overcome. We’re an impatient bunch — some more than others — and getting behind a slower moving vehicle leads some drivers to take unnecessary risks with their own lives and those of everyone around them.

All of this occurs, mind you, for the sake of saving a few minutes or (more often than not) arriving at the next red light several seconds ahead of the car you just passed.

The truth is, even if the speed limit were raised to 80 km/h, law-abiding drivers would then find themselves being tailgated at 80 instead of at 60.

The people who live or operate businesses along the busy route, as well as those who cross it on a regular basis, already fear for their safety as they approach 16 Avenue. Adding another 20 km/h to the mix isn’t going to help.

But with two fatalities so far this year and another serious accident involving a transport truck on Wednesday morning, it’s clear that something needs to change.

We’re just not convinced that thing is the speed limit.

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