It was his absolute, utter consternation with some speed limits in Canada's British Columbia inspired Chris Thompson, a video producer, to make a remarkably convincing video on the subject that went viral back in 2013. Now, Thompson’s back with a sequel. He’s still mad. And he’s not here for any of the nonsense.
The debate over the speed limits on British Columbia highways has raged for years, and Thompson’s original video convinced some local officials to study the matter and raise speed limits on some rural roads. Some of the speed limits have since been rolled back.
There has also been a slew of news reports and studies arguing that the rise in speed limits has actually been to blame for an increase in highway deaths, which Thompson debunks in the new vid. The weather, to give one alternate explanation, hasn’t helped.
Thompson, formerly a lawyer, also outlines in the new video all the ways stats can be used and misused to frame the argument. The basic premise of Thompson’s first video was that high speed limits don’t kill so much as poor driver behaviour and poorly-designed traffic flow. Ideally, the speed limit on non-urban roads should be set somewhere around the speed the majority of drivers are already travelling since crashes tend to occur more often if some drivers are observing the speed limit but the majority of them are not.
The fact that this debate is raging anywhere at all in 2019 strikes me as almost impossibly quaint. I want to one day live in a world where people get charged up about infrastructure and don’t have bigger fish to fry. That seems nice.