On September 26, the Ontario government officially raised the speed limit on some 400 series highways to 110 km/hour as part of a traffic pilot project. While it only applies to three stretches of highway right now, the project makes Ontario the latest province with Canadian highway speed limits that are over 100 km/hour.
In officially announcing their new speed limits, the Ontario Government confirmed that "there are currently six other provinces in Canada that have posted speed limits of 110 km/h or higher on some highways."
Ontario's transportation minister, Caroline Mulroney also said in her announcement that this speed limit increase was in line with other provinces.
The specific provinces she was referring to are Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, where the highest speed limits on freeways are 110 Km/h. Then there's B.C.
While the extra raise of 10 km/hour in Ontario has been exciting news, in B.C. they have taken it one step further with top speed limits of 120 km/h on one of their freeways. This limit is in place on Highway 5, also known as the Coquihalla Highway. This limit was originally set in 2014 and applied to two other highways as well. However, after a review in 2018, the Coquihalla Highway is now the only place in all of Canada where you can legally drive 120 km/h.
On the other two B.C. highways, the Okanogan Connector and the Island Highway, where 120 km/h speed limits were in place, the limits were rolled back over the risk of speed-related crashes.
A study done by UBC in 2018, discovered that on B.C. highways with 120 km/h limits, the number of deadly crashes increased by 118 per cent. Meanwhile, the number of injuries was up by 30 per cent and the number of insurance claims went up by 43 per cent.
After hearing those numbers, the government decided to dial the speed limit down to 110 km/h on those two highways.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are two places in Canada where the highest speed limits don't even crack 100 km/h. In Prince Edward Island and Nunavut, the highest speed limits are only 90 km/h.
These lower speed limits could be due to the fact that neither P.E.I or Nunavut have freeways in them.
While Ontario's latest highway increase is on par with six other provinces, experts say that it could still pose an issue. The OPP warned that for people who are unaware of the new limit increase and therefore driving below 110 km/h they could be a risk of causing a crash.
Drivers on those stretches of highway with increased limits are asked to pay attention to the traffic around them and obey the new limits.