Ontario’s 400-series highways are expected to see a speed limit increase. The plans are set to be announced by the Ontario government today. Details on the pilot project, which will review the Ontario 400-series highway speed limit thoroughly, is expected to be announced at just before noon on Friday.
Update [Friday, May 10 at 11:40 AM EST]: Minister Jeff Yurek announced a pilot project will be launched on three highway segments in mid-September, raising the speed limit to 110 Km/hour. The project will include Highway 402 from London to Sarnia, the QEW from St. Catharines to Hamilton, and Highway 417 from Ottawa to the Quebec Border.
According to Ontario Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek, a review of the major highways speed limitations has been put off for far too long. Yurek explains that the roads are equipped to handle traffic flow going at least 120 kilometres an hour.
“If you look back on the history of why speed limits were set where they were, back in the ’70s there was an energy crisis, and in order to conserve fuel they lowered the speed limits on our highway system, and it stayed that way ever since,” Yurek explained to CityNews this week.
“I’ve heard lots of stakeholders mention that maybe it’s time to take a review of how our speed limits are in the province, and I’ll have more to say on this next week on this issue, but we’re moving forward with consultations and the pilot project to see if it’s time to move forward,” he continued.
The review comes as part of the new Getting Ontario Moving proposal, which was put forth by the Ford government last week. The legislation is also hoping to allow motorcycles into the HOV lane while dealing out harsher penalties to those caught driving below the speed limit in the left lane.
The current speed limit for Ontario’s major highways is 100 kilometres an hour.
According to a report by the CBC, those fighting for higher speed limits claim that the current limits are too restricting and that they turn almost every Ontario driver into a criminal while travelling the 400-series highways.