Is it time for higher speed limits on Canada's highways?


B00Mer
#1
Is it time for higher speed limits on Canada's highways?



In B.C., the speed limits are rising on about 1,300 kilometres of highway this summer — in a few cases up to 120 km/h.

Quebec is exploring the idea of variable speed limits — as high as 120 but only when the weather's good — as part of a pilot project on two highways this fall.

Not to be overtaken, some Ontario motorists have mounted a campaign that would allow vehicles to be able to roll along at up to 130 km/h on some of the province's better highways.

So far there is no interest from the provincial Ministry of Transportation in seeing that happen, and in fact some provinces are even trying to slow things down.

Drivers on busy stretches of highway outside Regina and Saskatoon are having to take their feet off the accelerator after the limit was dropped to 90 km/h from 110 km/h earlier this year.



Across Canada, motorists can be forgiven for being confused: a speed that's deemed to be just fine on a nice, four- or six-lane straightaway in one province could result in fines or demerit points in others.

But determining the prime speed, the one ultimately deemed best both for safety and for getting drivers where they want to go in the most timely fashion, isn't easy. It involves a complex equation of engineering, road safety concerns and politics.

Caught in the middle

"It's a tough one for provincial governments because, politically, talking about higher limits on highways will always be more popular than talking about lowering limits, and yet the science might suggest otherwise," says Ian Jack, managing director of communications and government relations for the Canadian Automobile Association.



As a result, politicians can feel caught in the middle, and that might explain the interest in trying something like Quebec's pilot project, he says.

"I'm almost certain that the advice from bureaucrats in almost any jurisdiction would be that raising limits might not be the best idea. But then on the political level you've got to get re-elected and you've got to deal with voters, so there's that reality as well."

In Ontario, the limit for multi-lane, 400-series highways is 100 km/h, a speed one online campaign wants to see rise to 130 in rural areas, and 120 in many areas around some of the big cities.

Chris Klimek, founder of Stop100.ca, says the group has a simple goal that would bring Ontario roads in line with roads in many other jurisdictions in the U.S. and Europe.

"Our mission is basically to legalize the existing speeds, the existing practices on our roads," he says.

"Most countries are posting between 120, 130 kilometres an hour and this is exactly the sort of speeds we are driving here in Ontario when the traffic is flowing and it's uncongested.

"So we want to legalize the actions of a safe and prudent majority of drivers."

Not the autobahn

Klimek has a long list of numbers and arguments, including provincial figures that he says show how speed contributed to only 6.7 per cent of deaths on Ontario roads in 2009.

He also has comments from other jurisdictions such as Utah where speed limits were increased in test zones without an increase in the rate of fatalities.

And he rejects any suggestion that a higher limit might mean drivers would just go another 10 or 20 km/h above than that.

"People are simply sticking to what feels comfortable and safe for them.

"Nobody has a death wish. People still want to get home or to their vacation location."

Klimek says that advocating for 130 in some areas is not suggesting Ontario highways should rival Germany's famed autobahn, which has sections where drivers can drive as fast as they wish.

"Very few people have a desire to do 160, 170, so we don't have to be calling for the autobahn," says Klimek.

On that, at least, he is in sync with the provincial government. Those who set the limits in Ontario have no plans to change them.

Speed limits are reviewed by the Ministry of Transportation every three to five years, and after the last review in 2012 a decision was made to leave them as they are.

"Experience in other jurisdictions indicates that fatal collisions can increase with higher limits," Bob Nichols, senior media liaison officer for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, said in an email.

"Even with today's posted speed limits, speed continues to be a major factor in collisions, injuries and fatalities on Ontario roads," he said.

"In 2011, speed contributed to 16 per cent of all fatalities and just under 10 per cent of all injuries due to motor vehicle collisions in Ontario."

Speed and distraction

In 2007, Ontario introduced a seven-day licence suspension and seven-day vehicle impounding for excessive speeding and aggressive driving, including following too closely, driving 50 km/h or more above the posted limit and weaving in and out of traffic too closely.

A study by Western University in London, Ont., along with the MTO earlier this year found that there have been about 58 fewer speed-related deaths or injuries a month for males between 16 and 24 years of age since the law took effect.



"The findings of the study demonstrated measurable improvement in road safety with clear evidence of speed reductions on provincial highways, as well as a remarkable reduction in collision casualties and the number of drivers engaging in extreme speeding," Nichols said.

The Ontario Provincial Police considers speeding a form of aggressive driving and a major cause of collisions, says Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP's Highway Safety Division.

In 2013, the OPP issued 219,000 speeding tickets and investigated 253 fatal motor vehicle collisions. Forty-seven (16 per cent) of the 292 deaths in those collisions were speed-related.

Schmidt says there is "quite a spread" in speeds driven on 400-series highways.

"I know that everyone thinks that everyone is travelling far in excess of the speed limit, but if you were to actually monitor traffic and look at the speeds you'd be surprised how many people are driving at the speed limit, as well as below the speed limit."

Saskatchewan's move to reduce the speed limit on a stretch of the Trans-Canada highway, as well as Highway 12 north from Saskatoon, "was just to increase safety on those stretches of highway," says Joel Cherry, a communications consultant for the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure.

Both stretches of road are busy and have at-grade access points.

"There was definitely pretty significant lobbying made by people in the area, and the ministry listened to their concerns," Cherry said.

Safe and responsible

Public sentiment also had an impact a decade ago when the limit for some Saskatchewan highways was increased to 110 from 100.

At the time — 2003 — there was "significant public interest in raising the speed limits to 110, and it was determined that the design specifications of the highways could accommodate the increased speed limit," Cherry said.

"Other jurisdictions, such as Alberta, already had 110 km/h speed limits and it was observed that drivers there responded in a safe and responsible manner."

The CAA, which considers driver distraction the top road safety issue these days, thinks people should approach the idea of raising speed limits with caution.

Making decisions based on fact, and trying out pilot projects are good ideas, Jack says.

"At the same time … the overwhelming majority of evidence internationally is that speed kills, so that raising highway limits generally is likely to lead to more fatalities."
 
MHz
#2
Snow
 
B00Mer
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

Snow

Plow
 
MHz
#4
level crossing

Whyte to Center St Winners carry onto Vancouver. loser is 3 months pipeline in the swamp.

wwwyoutubecomwatchvzNUBZfrOXUc



I'm pretty sure a horse trailer could be rigged up for parking lot/camping duty
Last edited by MHz; 3 weeks ago at 07:33 PM..
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#5
If you drive on the 4XX series highways, if you go below 120kph (outside the city) you are causing a hazard (particularly in the left lane).

I would favour 120 as the max with very little slack. Meaning if you go 131, you get a ticket. I figure 10kph would be enough to cover calibration issues.
 
MHz
#6
103, 123, 83 all escape tickets but that can only be reached by cruise control.
131 would get you a visit from the company safety men

You also get rattletraps that are fine to go for groceries but when they hit a 80kph area the engine should shut down in 90 seconds (also equipped with auto braking when a warm body is 'within range')
 
Kreskin
+1
#7
The only downfall is this is just in time for my new SUV.
 
MHz
+1
#8
Took me a few muddy roads to discover 'turning off traction control' was the way to go.
 
lone wolf
+3
#9  Top Rated Post
Might be an idea to know how to operate the vehicle (as opposed to drive it) and where it can be done safely before people get to go faster
 
MHz
#10
I had a 450hp 57chev when I was 16. The insurance man shivered every-time he saw me drive by. Go figure, adversion to 'big bad green' or what? I called it 'tutanks' because each day I drove it it used that much gas.
 
taxslave
+1
#11
Since BC raised the speed limits out of province drivers have been dying at an even higher rate than normal on our roads. At least two so far this weekend. I think corners confuse them.
 
Nuggler
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Since BC raised the speed limits out of province drivers have been dying at an even higher rate than normal on our roads. At least two so far this weekend. I think corners confuse them.


So is that a job for the police or a national inquiry ?
 
Praxius
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

If you drive on the 4XX series highways, if you go below 120kph (outside the city) you are causing a hazard (particularly in the left lane).

I would favour 120 as the max with very little slack. Meaning if you go 131, you get a ticket. I figure 10kph would be enough to cover calibration issues.


Here in Melbourne they have speed cameras all over the place and if you go 3km over the speed limit, you have a fine showing up in your mail soon enough.


It's boasted as a safety thing, but everybody knows they're just a revenue device for the government.


Saying that your speedometer is slightly off won't get you very far.


Back in Nova Scotia, we have the 110km on many of the highways. You could get away with around 118-120kmh without getting into too much trouble and if you do get pulled over, most times you get a warning.


Driving through Mt Thom you have a lot of RCMP checking for speeders due to being a crossway between New Brunswick, the Halifax area and the Antigonigh/Cape Breton areas. I was going about 120 through there and passed a white van. By the time I got beside it, I saw the RCMP emblem on the door. I looked at him, he looked at me and I figured I would just keep going casually and safely to over take. He didn't pull me over or anything. Might have had something to do with him also speeding about 2km slower than I was.


Even my wife mentioned she loved the leeway back in Nova Scotia while driving. It's safer to have that leeway so you can concentrate more on what's in front of you.


Unlike here in Australia with speed cameras and no leeway. You're not just constantly trying to keep your eyes on the road, but also trying to keep an eye on your speed so you don't go over and get a ticket.


Add on top of that the crazy intersections, multitude of vague street signs, a turn off ramp here at one point, then a U-Turn on the other side the next..... People wonder why there's so many accidents.


And because of all of this, very few places ever get to 110kmh and even many freeways are only 80kmh.


Then you have sections where it goes from 80 down to 60 in about 500m, then from 60 to 70, then back to 60, then drops to 40km, then up to 70 again. I swear they do it just to trap people into a fine.
 
tay
#14
NO.............






forums.canadiancontent.net/ne...ighlight=speed (external - login to view)
 
spaminator
#15
higher speed limits on canadas highways will make crash videos look better.
 
taxslave
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

So is that a job for the police or a national inquiry ?

Definatly a senate investigation.
 
Tonington
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

Then you have sections where it goes from 80 down to 60 in about 500m, then from 60 to 70, then back to 60, then drops to 40km, then up to 70 again. I swear they do it just to trap people into a fine.

That sounds like PEI. No posted speed limit above 90 anywhere on the island, no controlled access highways. It's maddening some days.
 
B00Mer
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

higher speed limits on canadas highways will make crash videos look better.

 
MHz
#19
Just the east/west paved roads in Sask and then no limit at all.
 
Blackleaf
#20


(And Clarkson measures his speed in good old normal mph, not kph like those quaint little Canadians do)
 
MHz
#21
Only if just the locals are allowed on them after.

National Lampoons Vacation - Clark drives the Family Truckster off the closed road - YouTube

 
BruSan
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post



(And Clarkson measures his speed in good old normal mph, not kph like those quaint little Canadians do)

And just look what part of his body increased it's size twofold by doing so.

Well let's see, we reluctantly accepted seat belts due to their reducing injury and death numbers. We reluctantly accepted helmets for the same reasons. We reluctantly accept various safety measures be built into our vehicles which in some cases result in our ability to choose less desirable things to drive considering the fun quotient.


So by all means lets' embrace a rise in road speeds which will fly in the face of all those things we've had rammed at us with the conviction they make us safer. This in spite of the fact todays drivers are subjected to even more distractions and hazards than previous generations of us.


I'm more than appalled at the ignorance of drivers today as it applies to tailgating and lane discipline. In my day passing on the right of a multilane was rude, stupid and considered almost a crime because NO ONE camped in the left lane doing one or two over the posted limit in their imitation of some western vigilante forcing others to comply with their version of what's RIGHT & proper.


In short; there's just too many arrogant little ****s out there who think considerate driving is what the other guy has to do for them. By all means lets' raise the limit and let natural selection wean the gene pool.


I vote we force every driver to spend two years driving nothing but a Kawisaki Hyabusa.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+2
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

That sounds like PEI. No posted speed limit above 90 anywhere on the island, no controlled access highways. It's maddening some days.

Those 3 minutes to get from one end of the island to the other must be maddening!
 
Tonington
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

Those 3 minutes to get from one end of the island to the other must be maddening!

Lol, imagine driving from Toronto to Kingston at 90 km/h or less! Worse than that dropping down to speeds as low as 40 km/h. Add the tourists...it's like they've never seen a field of potatoes before.
 
Blackleaf
+2
#25
 
B00Mer
#26
Sh*t Happens!!!

 

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