Speeds on the 400s staying put

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QUEEN’S PARK, Ont. – Ontario’s Tories have no plans to raise speed limits on 400-series highways, in spite of a recently released study suggesting doing so might make roads safer.

“Our own research suggests that raising the speed limits would, in fact, lead to an increase in traffic injuries and fatalities,” says a spokesman for Ontario Transportation Minister Brad Clark. The issue has again come to the forefront after a researcher from the University of Toronto suggested the current speed limit, of 100 km-h for major highways, is outdated. The study, overseen by Prof. Baher Abdulhai, recommended a limit as high as 130 km-h for the 401, Canada’s busiest route, and somewhere between 105 and 110 km-h for Hwy. 403. The issue has long been a prickly one in Ontario. In 1996, the late Al Palladini, who was then transportation minister, said the speed limit for cars should be raised to 120 kilometres an hour. But the idea was shoved into neutral after the province heard the police would still want to give motorists a 20 per cent cushion over and above the legal limit.

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