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Slow and steady wins the race

(Cartoon by George Longley)

The majority of drivers are guilty of it.

We are guilty of putting our foot to the gas pedal and surging much higher than the posted speed limit on the provincial highways in the GTA.

Those who fail to do this, whether it be on the 401, 404, 407 or 400, are usually looked down upon with a stern sneer.

The provincial government recently announced it would be reviewing speed limits on Ontario’s 400-highway series for the first time in more than four decades.

The 100 km/hr speed limit was first implemented in the 1970s during a time when there was a shortage of oil.

Now in 2019, that is no longer a reality, and it is time for the speed limits to be carefully reviewed.

Highways such as the 401 were designed to safely handle speeds of 120 km/h.

But this fact adds a conundrum as while the speed limit is 100 km/h, the average driver on Ontario’s highways travels much faster than that.

So with an increase in the speed limit, there is a possibility drivers will want to go even faster.

With more motorists driving quicker also brings about the chance of collisions happening at a higher rate of speed, creating a greater chance of injury and death.

These potential safety issues have been raised by some police organizations.

It is very rare to see motorists pulled over on the 401 for speeding unless they are severely above the limit or maneuvering in a manner that causes extreme danger to themselves and other drivers.

This conversation begs the question, if speed limits are raised, will the province be willing to increase enforcement as well to deal with the consequences?

Increasing speed limits is far from the only change proposed in the Ford government’s Moving Ontario Forward Act.

They are also aiming for harsher penalties for drivers who drive too slowly in the left lane of major highways.

In some ways, these drivers can cause just as much danger as those who are speeding, as nothing brings on road rage more than someone going 90 in the fast lane.

Whatever decisions are shared, convenience and safety should be considered equally.