Que speed limiter rule picks up momentum; Province mulls photo radar

QUEBEC CITY — A few days after the Ontario Liberals promised to cap the speed of all trucks in the province at 105 km/h, Quebec’s Minister of Transport says she’ll push a road safety bill that would do the same thing.

Last week, Minister Julie Boulet unveiled the first Table Quebecoise de la Sécurité Routière — a six-point action plan that, among other measures, proposes that speed limiters set at 105 km/h be mandated on trucks traveling in La Belle Province.

The report, which took a year and a half to complete, also suggests that legislators take a hard look at banning handset cell phones; pilot projects for photographic radar and cameras at red lights; and tougher penalties for all major speeding offences and impaired drivers.

After a substantial improvement in the road safety record over thirty years, there “unfortunately has been an increase in the number of victims on Québec roads since 2001,” says Boulet.

“It is clear that road safety is a safety issue and that we have the responsibility to act,” she says in a press release. “Many efforts have been made to raise awareness over the past few years. We must continue to sensitize the public, but we must also go further and adopt tougher measures that will contribute to change driver behavior.”

It’s possible Quebec may see a speed limiter rule before Ontario

The road safety clause on speed limiters appears to reinforce a similar proposal introduced by the government’s environmental department last year. That recommendation was buried among 22 other measures in the province’s 2006-2012 Action Plan on Climate Change.

The proposals will be submitted to the National Assembly of Quebec this fall, where politicians will vote on them as proposed regulations through the traditional readings process.

The timing indicates that Quebec could see speed limiters before Ontario. There the plan is contingent on the Liberals being re-elected. While the opposition Conservatives agree with the idea, there’s no guarantee they would introduce their own speed limiter mandate if elected.

Additionally, the Quebec minister also called for photo radar at nine sites throughout the province. Another six intersections would have red light cameras installed.

“The introduction of these technologies has proven its value in several countries around the world by contributing to improve the road safety record. The sites where these devices will be installed will be publicized and known to the users so as not to entrap drivers,” Boulet said.

Boulet is also getting tougher on drunk drivers. The minister will propose legislative changes to increase the term of the immediate suspension of the driver’s licence from 30 to 90 days for a first impaired driving offence. Harsher penalties will be applied against a person driving with a blood alcohol level higher than double the legal limit.

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