10/04/2013 02:19 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

B.C. Speed Limit Review Examines Coquihalla, Trans-Canada Highways

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - British Columbia is launching a review of speed limits on longer stretches of highways between communities, mostly in rural parts of the province.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said Friday the public is invited to provide input on speed limits through eight forums around B.C. and through a website.

The forums starting next month will be held in Kamloops, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Nanaimo, Chilliwack and Vancouver.

Stone said the Coquihalla Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway could be prime candidates for a change in speed limits, but that provincial highways that run through major urban centres will not be part of the review.

He said research around the world suggests drivers who don't keep up with the flow of traffic, not speeders, cause accidents, so the review may result in increased speed limits in some areas and reductions in others by next spring.

"We're also going to look at how we can reduce the risk of collisions with wildlife and how we can better manage the movement of slower vehicles to ensure the efficiency of our highways," he said.

"With safety as the Number One priority here, this is not about raising the speed limits but ensuring that speed limits are correct on our various highway corridors."

Along with public input, the Transportation Ministry will collect data from various groups including the RCMP, the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the Insurance Corp. of B.C. and the trucking association.

The last major review of speed limits in B.C. was conducted in 2003.

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