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Ontario government considers increasing speed limits

Ontario's government plans to launch a review of speed limits on provincial highways. The transportation minister muses that some of those roads can safely handle traffic at 120 kilometres per hour. In 2014, British Columbia adjusted speed limits on 33 sections of highway that included increases to 120 km/h on certain sections of divided, multi-lane highways. However, the province has since rolled back many of those increases after research showed an increase in serious collisions on some routes. The speed limit on the 400-series highways, including Highway 401 is 100 km/h, while other provincial highways range between 80 and 90 km/h. But, Baher Abdulhai from the University of Toronto's Transportation Research Institute says that 120 km/h is already the "de facto speed limit" on highways in the Greater Toronto Area. There are effectively three speed limits for any highway: the "design" speed, the "operating" speed and the "posted" speed. The "design" speed, is the maximum speed at which a road can be safely navigated and determines every element of its design. The "operating" speed, is how fast traffic actually moves on the road and the "posted" speed, is displayed on roadside signs. The posted speed is a product of many factors, including a commonly used measure called the 85th percentile: the speed at which 85 per cent of traffic will travel at or below. It's not yet clear where or how the government will implement its pilot projects but, Abdulhai added that technology (such as radar), and strict enforcement along with stronger intervention in areas such as school and construction zones can help play an important role in ensuring it's done safely.
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