The Ontario government recently announced that it is increasing highway speed limits to 110km/hr. Although to some drivers this may come as good news there are a few things to always keep in mind in order to stay safe on the roads.
Which Highways are Increasing their Speed Limit?
So far, portions of highway 402, the QEW, and the 417 in Ottawa are increasing their speed limits in an attempt to resolve traffic flow. Despite increasing the number of lanes on these highways there are many complaints about a backlog in traffic. As mentioned, the provincial government’s solution is to increase the speed limit to these highways in hopes of moving traffic along more efficiently. There may ultimately be an expansion in the number of highways with the higher speed limit.
Things Drivers Should Keep in Mind
- The speed limit of 110 km/hr is not for the entire length of the aforementioned highways. The speed limit will decrease back to 100 km/hr in certain areas in order to keep people safe on potentially dangerous parts of the highway. Drivers must be mindful of when the speed limits decrease again, as you will be subject to increased fines if you maintain your speed in those areas.
- Also keep in mind that many drivers in Ontario were already driving 10-20 km/hr over the speed limit of 100 km/hr prior to this change. The increase in the speed limit to 110 km/hr is not permission to drive an extra 10-20 km/hr over the new posted speed limit. Remember, any increase in speed limit is an increase in your chances of getting seriously injured in a car accident.
- The increase in speed limit is yet another reason to leave even MORE space between your car and the car in front of you. When your speed increases that means it will require more time for you to stop if the car in front of you stops for any reason. You will want to leave 2-3 seconds of space between your car and the car ahead of you.
- Despite the increase in speed limit, stunt driving penalties continue to apply at 150 km/hour. This means that you will be subject to significant fines, vehicle impoundment, and criminal charges at 40 km/hour over the speed limit, not the usual 50 km/hour over. Not only could you possibly face monetary (ticket) and criminal penalties, you may also be barred from certain benefits from your insurance company if you are injured in a car accident as a result of stunt driving.
Remember, driving on the highway is serious business. It is risky and so it is always important to be vigilant when there are fast moving cars around you. Even if you are a safe driver, you never know if the a car around you makes a sudden, dangerous move.