Advocacy group says B.C. is torquing data to justify larger fines, lower speed limits
VANCOUVER - An advocacy group that pushes for higher speed limits in the province has released a video accusing the B.C. government of cherry-picking data to justify lower speed limits and larger fines for offences like distracted driving.
“I exceed the speed limit almost all the time,” Chris Thompson told CTV News as he explained his reasons for creating the video. “Anyone and everyone can say to make things safer, let’s lower the speed limits. And that sounds plausible if you ignore the psychology of driving which is that people just drive what they feel is safe.”
The provocative video, called Speed Kills Your Pocketbook 2, pokes fun at the provincial government, and also accuses local media of sensationalizing stories that help push the government narrative.
“The government, and to some degree the media, have been using or abusing statistics to try to push an enforcement agenda that isn’t really justified by those numbers,” said Thompson.
As an example, Thompson cites the government’s 2018 decision to lower speeds on certain stretches of provincial highways just a few years after raising them.
He accuses the province of manipulating the data to back up the move, and claims it did so in part to generate more revenue from speed enforcement.
"First off, that's nonsense,” Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in response to the accusation. "We know in this province that there are too many fatalities, that too many people are injured, and that's what guides the decisions."
The original Speed Kills Your Pocketbook video by Sense BC has more than 1.7-million views on YouTube and the group hopes interest in the latest 24-minute installment picks up speed just as fast.