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Ontario reportedly considering lowering default speed limits to below 50 km/h

Winston Sih | posted Thursday, Jan 29th, 2015

In a bid to improve road safety and cut down on deaths on Ontario streets, the province is reportedly considering reducing speed limits.

The change could reduce the default speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.

The Toronto Star reports Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca will consult with municipalities to determine an action plan.

Sources tell the paper the province is changing their tune on the issue in response to concerns from municipalities.

In 2012, then-mayor Rob Ford dismissed a similar recommendation from the Board of Health as “nuts, nuts, nuts.”

The Liberal government have four options:

  • keep the default limit at 50 km/h
  • change the provincial law to make the default speed limit 40 km/h
  • let municipalities choose between a 50 km/h or 40 km/h standard
  • let municipalities set different default limits within their boundaries, or within specific neighbourhoods

The World Health Organization has found that a pedestrian hit at 45 km/h has 50 per cent chance of being killed. When a person is struck by a vehicle travelling 30 km/h, the chance of surviving is 90 per cent.

The organization also found that a car travelling 50 km/h needs 13 metres to stop, but can stop in 8.5 metres or less if it is going 40 km/h. And an increase in speed by one km/h results in three per cent higher risk of crash involving injury, and a four to five per cent increase for crashes that kill.”

With files from CityNews.ca


  • Pasquale says:

    Reducing speeds may or may not save lives, these stats have been researched to mask the real reason they want to reduce speeds. It will increase speeding tickets, more revenue which is all they are after. We need better control of the speeds we have now. If you report excessive speeding zones to the local authorities, they do nothing. You ask for traffic lights where it is unsafe to cross and they take years to approve possibly 5% of the requests. If they want to really save lives, make our streets safer. Give fines to pedestrians that cross while texting, jay walking or cross when the light has not turned green. The cyclists that only adhere to the laws that are convenient to them but do not follow any other laws that we who drive in cars and pay for that privilege to be on our roads are forced to follow. How about spend money to save lives??
    Please stop believing all the BS from these money hungry politicians that are praised and rewarded by themselves when they come up with these money making schemes.

  • Nancy G. says:

    Perhaps instead of decreasing the speed limit to 40kph more should be done to educate pedestrians as to their responsibilities. How many times have we seen pedestrians start to walk across the street when the light turns amber or the “Don’t Walk” sign is displayed? How many times have we seen people walk out from between parked cars mid-block and expect that the motorist has seen them and will stop? Pedestrians in parking lots are even worse. It seems every time you put your car in reverse pedestrians come from all over to walk behind your vehicle like those white reverse lights are a magnet. These are not children I am talking about. It is parents pushing strollers, elderly people with walkers, grown adults talking or texting while they walk. Perhaps the Police should start handing out tickets to Pedestrians for stupidity.

  • Kim Stewart says:

    Lowering the speed limit is ridiculous, especially as it is virtually unenforceable. Pedestrians need to pay attention to their surroundings. I have come to countless intersections where a pedestrian will step off the curb without even looking over their shoulder to check for turning vehicles. In an accident the human will fare much worse than the vehicle so why assume that the drivers will always look out for your safety? Take some responsibility!!

  • Ken Hedger says:

    A ridiculous idea. At least allow cities to set limit per conditions on various roads. It is time pedestrians and cyclists had to pass tests as do we innocent motorists. We must hope our councillors have more brains than Whinny.

  • Christine Lee says:

    NO. I think the pedestrian should be hold accountable for jaywalking.

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