Ontario to extend pilot on increasing 400-series highway speed limits

by Today's Trucking

Ontario has announced it will extend a pilot project studying whether or not to increase the speed limits from 100 km/h to 110 km/h on some 400-series highways.

The initial pilot has been running on three sections of highway since 2019, but traffic was diminished due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and so an extension will be granted.

“This extension will allow us to collect additional data and better analyze the effects of raising speed limits,” the province said in an update posted online.

picture of cop car and truck
(Photo: iStock)

The pilot will now run until 2023. The initial phase included: Queen Elizabeth Way from Hamilton to St. Catharines; Hwy. 402 from Sarnia to London; and Hwy. 417 from Gloucester to the Ontario/Quebec border.

Along with the pilot, the province conducted public consultations and found: 54% of drivers prefer to drive in the lane that best matches their speed; 14% prefer to drive in the middle lane; 14% prefer the right lane; and 8% prefer the lane with the least traffic.

Sixty-one per cent of respondents said they felt comfortable driving at speeds greater than 100 km/h; 29% adjust their speeds to driving conditions; fewer than 10% said they most comfortable driving around the 100 km/h posted limit; and 1% feel most comfortable driving below 100 km/h.

Also, 80% of respondents said they felt the 100 km/h speed limit for 400-series highways is too low.

Only a third of respondents who support the pilot felt more speed enforcement is needed, but of those who do not support the pilot, 77% felt current enforcement levels are not enough. Eighty per cent of respondents support the pilot while 82% also felt more sections of 400-series highways should see higher speed limits.

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  • I wonder how much more money will be wasted on this “study”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that very few drivers follow the 100 km posted speed limit now on the 400 series highways, and that includes most trucks. Just raise it to 110 and forget about all these worthless “studies”.

  • My humble opinion

    OK to rise speed limits with following conditions.

    Technical certifications of vehicle and driver.

    Modulate speed limit according to weather and traffic conditions like no limit like in germany with dry road a limit of 80km/h when wet.

    Absolutely prohibit left lane hugging ana overtaking on the right.

    I may not follow 100% the German example, I would rather suggest 130 km/h in rural areas and 115 km/h in cities motorways

  • Yes, I enjoy driving at speeds of 100+ . Speeds of 110 or 115 are the speeds I would appreciate there. I drive the 400, four times a week. I need these speeds for my business. Any slower would cost me money. I feel safe please keep the enforcement of this highway 400 + 401