But when I’m in Jasper National Park, I’m “there”. The need to hurry is gone. I’m driving slow, enjoying at the mountain scenery, and keeping an eye out for wildlife.
Not so for some other Canadian Rockies visitors this past weekend.
The Canadian Press reports that 115 people were caught speeding on the stretch of the Highway 93 (Icefield Parkway) connecting Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.
Some speeders were reportedly going 60km/h (37mph) OVER the posted speed limit. The posted speed limit is typically 70km/h (44mph) on park main roads and highways.
Besides the scenery, there are good reasons to drive slower in the Canadian Rockies parks.
Both Banff and Jasper National Park focus a lot of effort on environment and wildlife preservation. They also put a lot of effort in accommodating visitors and making it safe for everyone. Going fast in areas with frequent wildlife crossings is very hazardous to both yourself, fellow travelers and wildlife. So, the speed limits have been adjusted.
Tragically, vehicle collisions are one of the biggest causes of death for some wildlife species in Banff and Jasper National Parks. And too many travelers have made this vacation a permanent one due to careless driving. Don’t be that person.
US visitors should pay extra attention to the bighorn sheep.
Visitors to Canada from the United States need to be careful, especially those with cars purchased in the US. Throughout Canada, speed limit signs are posted in kilometers per hour (KPH). Car purchased in the US use miles per hour (MPH) on the speedometer and usually have KPH in small numbers below. I rented a car in Edmonton and it had the opposite: KPH in big numbers and MPH in small numbers.
That bighorn sheep speed limit sign that says “Maximum 70” is referring to KPH. Remember, 70KPH is about 44 MPH.
Listen to the bighorn sheep.