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Lower speed in B.C. cities to save pedestrians and cyclists: report

VANCOUVER — British Columbia's first report on road safety recommends a speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour in urban areas to reduce deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.

The report released by the provincial health officer says deaths and injuries among those two groups have not substantially decreased compared to drivers and passengers.

Dr. Perry Kendall says the chance of a pedestrian surviving a crash in a 50 km/h zone is about 15 to 20 per cent versus 90 per cent if the speed is lowered to 30 km/h.

Neil Arason, manager of the B.C. Road Safety Strategy, says evidence from around the world shows that lowering speeds in urban areas saves lives on busy roads shared by pedestrians and an increasing number of cyclists.

Kendall says drivers who pose a danger on the road by mixing marijuana and alcohol are another concern, particularly because there aren't any reliable ways to measure impairment by pot.

The report makes 28 recommendations, including continuing to promote programs to fight distracted driving and establishing a centre for excellence for road safety.

The Canadian Press

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