I am bewildered on what would motivate Transportation Minister Todd Stone to put up this erroneous claim that research around the world suggest drivers who dont keep up with the flow of traffic, not speeders, cause accidents... (Prince George Citizen, Oct. 5, p. 7).
I heard the same garbage on CBC and now The Citizen repeats it. And for the inference to be drawn that that somehow justifies raising the speed limits is no less ill-informed as well as illogical. Start with the first mistaken conclusion. There is no worldwide consensus on the impacts of those who drive well below posted limits. But speeding has been implicated in most every major study. Take for example a review by Dutch researchers Aarts and van Schagen published in the authoritative journal Accident Analysis & Prevention in 2006, which begins unequivocally: Speed is an important factor in road safety. Speed not only affects the severity of a crash but is also related to the risk of being involved in a crash.
Elsewhere in the same paper, the researchers state, With regard to the (crash) rate of a (much) slower moving vehicle, the evidence is inconclusive.
These findings and that of countless other earlier and subsequent reports, readily found in the professional literature, confirm the old adage, speed kills. This said, no doubt a vehicle driving significantly below posted limits is a hazard and corrective measures including warning signs and increased fines are the way to go: How raising the speed limits on rural highways would do anything about such laggards is as puzzling as the ministers non-existent evidence about speed and crashes.