Car News

Ontario Boosting Speed Limit On Three Highways in Pilot Project

The Ontario government's latest move makes the province a place to grow... a little bit faster. That's new higher highway speed limits on three highways as a pilot program test that could see increased limits expanding.

The project will start on three Southern Ontario highways. Highway 402 from London to Sarnia, the Queen Elizabeth Way from St. Catharines to Hamilton, and Highway 417 from Ottawa to the Quebec border.

The limit on those roads will be raised to 110 km/h, inline with six other provinces that have raised limits above 100 km/h on certain highways. Don't let that foot get overly excited just yet, as the project won't start until mid-September.

Along with the higher limit test, the government will be launching consultations on ways to safely increase highway speeds to align with other provinces and how people drive.

"Safety is the government's number one priority and each pilot location was carefully chosen based on a number of factors, including its ability to accommodate higher speed limits," said Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek.

Safety advocates were generally on board with the trial. "The Ontario Safety League traditionally bases their position on science, and the science tells us that although excessive speed is a factor in many crashes, under normal driving conditions and with reasonable driving attention it would have virtually no impact," said Brian Patterson, President and CEO, Ontario Safety League.

Elliott Silverstein, for CAA South Central Ontario, said that "a pilot program is an ideal way to gradually explore the subject of raising speed limits and determine the impact on road safety."

Drivers excited by the possibility of getting 10 km/h more before earning a street-racing ticket should take note that the government is also proposing legislation to keep those penalties in place at 150 km/h even with the higher limits.

British Columbia still has the country's highest speed limits, with 120 km/h on certain highways, though have recently lowered limits on about 570 km of roadways.