Ford government to test 110 km/h speed limits on three 400-series highways
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Friday, May 10, 2019 12:02PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 10, 2019 12:32PM EDT
The Ford government is raising speed limits on three sections of 400-series highways in the province to 110 km/h starting this September as a test measure.
Starting Sept. 16, Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek says speed limits on Highway 402 between London and Sarnia, the QEW between St. Catharines and Hamilton and Highway 417 between eastern Ottawa and the Quebec border will have a posted limit of 110 km/h.
“Traffic might be a little bit faster than what it is now, but pretty much I think it will match what goes on today,” Yurek said of the project’s impact.
“Each of these highways were chosen because there’s little change that needs to be done to them, their interchanges are properly spaced (apart).”
They will also possibly test the 110 km/h limit on a stretch of a northern Ontario highway as well, but the details are still being finalized.
The pilot project will last until Sept. 2021.
Yurek says the government will launch consultations with all highway users including the trucking industry, law enforcement and other partners, regarding speed limits and other matters regarding road transportation.
He stressed that the street racing penalty will remain at 150 km/h and not increase in lockstep with the speed limit increase.
The provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan all have highway speed limits of 110 or 120 km/h.
“We’re just meeting what at least 85 per cent of the road users are already at,” Yurek said, conceding most drivers exceed the existing 100 km/h speed limit on 400-series highways on a regular basis.
Yurek said that no GTA-area highway was included in the pilot as the ministry is focused on other measures, especially expanding the GO network, as a means to improve traffic in the region.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said police don’t make the rules, but they remain concerned about the prevalence of speeding.
“That is what the Minister of Transportation has deemed to be appropriate and the OPP are here to enforce the rules of the road. If they’re increasing the speed limits we are here to enforce those limits as they are stated, he told CP24. “I know speeding is the leading cause of death or injuries. It’s the number one killer on our highways right now.”