Re: Editorial – Study on Coquihalla crashes needs to be taken seriously
Mel: congratulations to you for once, taking a more cautious approach to some propaganda coming from the sustainable transport / Vision Zero promoters.
With respect to the Post Media story about the study, Is it reporting, or simply mischievous advocacy to be writing “Speed Limit hikes… Led to Vastly more fatalities…” when causes of, or contributing factors for crashes were not examined or determined by the study authors?
The authors’ own research indicates speeds hardly changed in affected areas (average speeds changed from 94.0 to 94.3); MOTI numbers indicate some actually went down. I’m not persuaded that even the study claim about higher numbers of crashes / fatalities is correct given by the authors’ own admission there’s a margin of error of 10 to 225%.
There are many problems with this study, including, but not limited to:
1) the authors have an agenda, and it’s not to be the drivers’ friend. It’s not a stretch to say they are working for the minimal use / elimination of the private automobile. They cannot accept, nor have they ever accepted that highway speed limits should be the responsibility of the capable engineers responsible for MOTI. Rather, they want “Safe Speed Systems” limits on our highways and roadways.
This is a Vision Zero dream where everyone is limited to 30 km/h in cities and 70 km/h on undivided highways. Small wonder these are the same people promoting full time automated enforcement on BC Roads, as it’d be a guaranteed money maker when one sets the groundwork for mass civil disobedience by drivers.
2) Their data and methodology is full of holes. Don’t take my word for it, refer to this critique by another promoter of sustainable transport (in other words, one of “them”) with the University of Washington who says “In short, I would not have recommended publication if I had been a peer reviewer, due to many unusual and unexplained analytical decisions, inadequate description of methods, and a lack of robustness checks to ensure that the claimed results were not just a statistical quirk.”/.
3) They’ve based their entire thesis around the concept that correlation equals causation. If you’re going to claim speed is the cause of something, surely you’d examine speed’s role in collisions? No, unbelievably they did not.
So here’s what should be an easy question for anybody to understand and fashion some logic from: if speed limits are 110 but I drive 125, and the next day the sign says 120 and I continue to drive 125; when I crash, is the sign to blame? That’s what the study authors spent a lot of time and money (presumably tax payers’ money) to have us believe.