Four years after speed limits were boosted on Highway 1 east of Abbotsford, 100 km/h will again be the new maximum on the stretch of highway. (Google Street View image)

Highway 1 speed limit to go back to 100 km/h

Change follows statistics showing more speed-related crashes between Abbotsford and Hope

The speed limit between Abbotsford and Hope will be rolled back to 100 km/h following studies showing the number of speed-related crashes has soared in recent years.

In 2014, the province increased the limit to 110 km/h from the Whatcom Road exit east through Chilliwack to Hope.

Since then, the number of serious collisions has jumped by 38.2 per cent, with dozens more linked to speed, a recent safety evaluation for that stretch of highway found.

Eleven per cent of all crashes were attributed to speed. (The most frequent factor in collisions was driver inattention, which paid a role in 29 per cent of crashes.)

At the same time, the vast majority of drivers were actually going slower over that stretch.

Earlier in 2018, a UBC study found that increases to speed limits across the province in 2014 led to more fatal and non-fatal crashes.

The study said roads with higher speed limits saw a 118 per cent increase in the number of fatal crashes, a 43 per cent increase in the number of ICBC insurance claims, and a 30 per cent increase in crash-related injury claims.

Fifteen different highway segments will have speed limits reduced.

Those include Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope and Highway 1 from Boston Bar to Jackass Mountain.

The rollbacks won’t affect the Coquihalla, where the speed limit will stay at 120 km/h.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the introduction of a variable speed limit system on Highway 1 between the Sumas River in Abbotsford at Prest Road in Chilliwack. Construction on the $25 million project is expected to conclude in 2019.

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