Recently, the Ontario Government announced that it will be raising speed limits on sections of three 400-series highways as part of a new pilot project that will begin in September and last for two years. This is part of the proposed Getting Ontario Moving Act revealed by Ontario Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek.
The Getting Ontario Moving Act will also increase fines for people who drive too slowly in the passing lane, as well as speeders in construction zones or near tow trucks. Included in this Act is a proposal to allow solo motorcycle riders to use Ontario’s high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes where only 2 or more people travelling in a vehicle can use certain times of the day.
The province plans to eliminate a requirement for owners of pick-up trucks and trailers to get them inspected if they are for personal use. It will also allow vehicle dealers to apply online for permits, plates and validation stickers on behalf of customers, instead of them having to line up at Service Ontario.
The following sections of the highways will have their speed limits increased to 110 kilometres per hour (100km/h), up from 100 kilometres per hour:
1)Highway 402 from London to Sarnia
2)QEW from St. Catharines to Hamilton
3)Highway 417 from Ottawa/Gloucester to Ontario/Quebec border
According to Minister Yurek - “Each of these highways were chosen because there’s little change needed to be done to them [and] their interchanges are properly spaced for making the safest environment possible.”
The Ontario government believes that increasing speed limits will bring posted limits in line with other jurisdictions and go along with how people currently are driving. Minister Yurek doesn’t think the higher limit will encourage people to speed even more. To me, I have reservations on that thought!
在我年轻和单身时，尤其是刚拿到驾照时，车速对我来说很重要。 1973年之前，加拿大时速是英制（英里）。那时，安省高速公路的最高车速为70英里/小时（113公里/小时）和80英里/小时（129公里/小时）。那时，北美汽车的设计考虑了舒适性，车的大小和加速的速度。很快，由于汽油涨价，北美原有的生活方式突然发生了变化。 1976年，除了安省北部的主干道减速至55英里/小时（89公里/小时）以外，高速公路的最高限速降至60英里/小时（97公里/小时）。降速的的原因是石油输出国组织（欧佩克）的石油禁运，大家要节约燃料。
Speed meant a lot to me back when I was a youngster, newly licensed and single. Before 1973, speed limits were in imperial units (miles). At that time, the speed limit was 70 mph (113 km/h) on Ontario highways and 80 mph (129 km/h). Cars were built for comfort, size, and pickup speed in North America. Soon, the days of cheap and abundant supply of gas to support this life style changed abruptly. In 1976 the maximum speed limit for Highways was reduced to 60 mph (97 km/h) except for main highways running through northern Ontario which were reduced to 55 mph (89 km/h). The legislation was enacted in an effort to conserve fuel amid an embargo on oil shipments from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
In 1977, highways started using the metric system with speeds being increased slightly to a maximum ranging from 80 km/h to 100 km/h (62 mph). Over the last few years, it is clear to everyone that most vehicles are travelling at 110 to 120 Km/h on the major Highways and the police will tolerate these speeding infractions in most of the cases. Driving slowly in the left (passing) lane and oblivious to others is presenting the most dangerous challenge to other drivers causing them to make unnecessary lane changes to pass these slower vehicles.
In 2013, "speed too fast / exceed speed limit" contributed to 18.4% of all collisions. Rear-end collisions are the type of crashes that occur the most frequently. About 81 percent of rear-end accidents occurred when the lead vehicle was completely stopped. Within the last year, my vehicle was rear-ended on two occasions when the traffic stopped rapidly and those behind me did not stop in time. The cause has more to do with following too close than speeding. Speeding should be defined by the road, weather, and traffic condition and not just the speed limits!
I do not think that these proposed highway speed limits increase pilot projects will yield any new and useful statistics. People consistently driving above the speed limits on the highways are a reality that cannot be changed by fines or convictions. Increasing the speed limit will allow the police to work on monitoring other aspects of poor driving behaviours rather than just giving out tickets on borderline cases when speeds are exceeded.
Many of the other proposals under the Getting Ontario Moving Act are good suggestions. Allowing solo motorcycles to use the HOV lanes should help ease up highway traffic congestion. Cutting the red tape for trucks and trailer inspections and allowing electronic registration by vehicle dealers will provide public convenience. The Ontario government should simply cut out its speed limit pilot project and change the speed limits in an immediate and orderly fashion. It is a total waste of time and money to implement the testing!
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