Several variable speed signs, which adjust the enforceable speed limit to reflect driving conditions, are now operational along a section of the Sea to Sky Highway between Whistler and Squamish.
Sixteen digital signs have been installed between Function Junction and Squamish as part of a provincial pilot project aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of weather-related crashes. The technology uses an extensive system of traffic, pavement and visibility sensors to detect current conditions and provide a recommended speed.
Signs also went up on Highway 1 from Perry River to Revelstoke and along Highway 5, also known as Coquihalla, from the Porta Interchange to the former Toll Plaza.
“It is important drivers understand that along these corridors, these signs aren't 'speed readers', they are the law,” said transportation minister Todd Stone in a release. “These electronic signs will adjust the speed limit according to conditions and will require drivers to slow down and reduce their speed in bad weather.”
The $12.5-million project follows changes in the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act regulations that now allow police to enforce these posted speeds. Overhead message signs at the entrance of each corridor will notify drivers to be aware of changing weather conditions, and flashing amber lights will alert drivers to adjusted speeds that are not the posted limits along these corridors.
“Many highways in B.C. pass through different climate zones, and the Sea to Sky Highway is no exception,” said West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy in a release. “Motorists that drive Highway 99 are familiar with rapidly changing weather conditions, where it is not uncommon to experience sunny and dry conditions, as well as rain, sleet or a full-blown snowstorm somewhere along the way. These signs alert drivers to the need to adjust their speed to current conditions.”
For more information on variable speed signs, visit www.gov.bc.ca/variablespeedlimits.