Advocates want North Shore to lower speed limits from 50 km/h to 30 km/h on residential streets

WATCH: It's an idea that's been floated before, to a decidedly mixed reaction. Lowering speed limits on all residential streets. The North Shore region's medical health officer says it could save lives. Catherine Urquhart tells us how low he wants to go.

An effort is underway to lower the speed limit in North Shore neighbourhoods from 50 kilometres an hour to 30.

“They may be driving the speed limit, but in many conditions the speed limit is too high,” Tom Walker of the North Shore Safety Council said.

Medical health officer Dr. Mark Lysyshyn says a change to speed limits in North Vancouver and West Vancouver would save lives.

“When people are travelling 50 km/h and they hit a pedestrian, there is a 70 per cent chance that that pedestrian will die,” he said. “But when they are travelling 30 km/h there is only a 10 per cent chance that they’ll die. There’s sort of a health argument.”

Another possible health argument is that lowering speed limits would encourage people to walk by creating a safer environment for pedestrians.

In Vancouver, the speed limit was reduced from 50 km/h to 30 km/h along a stretch of East Hastings Street where pedestrians were often struck.

But District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton wonders about the challenges of enforcing lower speed limits over a larger area.

“How do we signpost that and how do we police it?” he asked. “How do we make sure people are doing it? It’s a very important question to ask.”

A forum on reducing speed limits in neighbourhoods is being held at District of North Vancouver chambers Thursday night.

– With files from Catherine Urquhart

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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