People that regularly drive on Ontario’s 400-series highways may notice a slight difference today as a new pilot project begins its increase of speed limits this September. Motorists can now travel 110 km/hr on certain roadways thanks to an initiative launched by the Ford government. However, the newly minted limits may pose a risk to drivers, and the OPP is stepping in to monitor the situation.
“While the speed limits have increased there may be drivers out there still going their normal speeds, and that will result in higher speed differentials and the requirement for drivers to pay even more attention to the traffic around them,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told CP24 on September 26.
“We will be out there patrolling the roads and conducting enforcement as well. We just want everyone to understand what the rules are and to obey the speed limits.”
However, it's not just the OPP that will ensure that these new limits will be met. Ontario's Ministry of Transportation will also be installing enhanced signs and safety messages on affected routes to ensure that the public is aware of the changes. The project will include public consultations on the impact of the updated speed limits.
The legislation will also allow motorcycles into the HOV lane.
These new rules will also be enforcing harsher penalties to those caught driving below the speed limit in the left lane, to help keep traffic moving on these often busy highways.
Drivers should pay extra attention while on Ontario's Highway 402 between London and Sarnia, the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) between St. Catharines and Hamilton, and Highway 417 between Ottawa and the Quebec border as these roadways will be affected by the sudden increase.
The increase in speed limit aims to align Ontario with six other provinces, which all have speed limits of 110 km/h or higher on their own roadways.