Province open to raising high speed limits, penalizing those who drive too slow

The transportation minster says the province may be interested in raising speed limits on Ontario highways. Jeff Yurek announced the government will run several pilot projects using different maximum speeds. The minister kind of teased the idea of higher speed limits at an event in Toronto this morning, he said he will announce more details next week, but singled out the 400-series highways, saying they were designed for vehicles to drive at faster speeds.

The idea of a higher limit resonates with many drivers who say everybody is already driving at 120, but for others it’s a safety concern saying that if the limit was raised people would use it as an excuse to drive even faster.

Always concerned about driver safety, OPP Officer Kerry Schmidt says speed is one of the top factors in collisions, and the faster you go the more time you need to react behind the wheel. Ontarians used to be allowed to drive faster on the highway, just over 110 kph, but in 1974 it was dropped to below 100, an effort to save gas during an international fuel shortage.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath says she wants to hear more from experts and municipalities. The province is also concerned about people driving too slow. Tomorrow’s proposed legislation will include a plan to increase the minimum fines for driving too slowly and failing to drive in the right-hand lane when driving slowly, from $60 to $150. The maximum fine will be $1000.