Ministère des Transports

Ministry of Transportation Ministère des Transports Highway Standards Branch 301 St. Paul Street 2 nd Floor St. Catharines ON L2R 7R4 Tel.: Fax: Direction des normes routières

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Ministry of Transportation Ministère des Transports Highway Standards Branch 301 St. Paul Street 2 nd Floor St. Catharines ON L2R 7R4 Tel.: Fax: Direction des normes routières 301 rue St. Paul, 2 e étage St. Catharines ON L2R 7R4 Tél. : Téléc. : September 6, 2019 Her Worship Joanne Vanderheyden Mayor Township of Strathroy-Caradoc 52 Frank Street Strathroy, ON N7G 2R4 Dear Mayor Vanderheyden: The Minister of Transportation announced on May 10, 2019 that the province is reviewing speed limits by launching a two-year pilot to raise speed limits on select freeways. Three sections of highways are planned as pilot locations in Southern Ontario where the highway speed will be posted at 110 km/h starting in September: Highway 402 from London to Sarnia; the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from St. Catharines to Hamilton; and Highway 417 from Ottawa/Gloucester to Ontario/Quebec border. The Ministry of Transportation is exploring options for a fourth pilot in Northern Ontario. As part of this review, the Ministry of Transportation is conducting consultations to provide the opportunity for feedback as well as identify potential issues that should be considered. The review will include a program to monitor any changes to motorists speeds in the pilot areas and any impacts to the number and severity of collisions. Please find attached, consultation material detailing the speed limit pilot and general background information on speed limits in Ontario to be shared with appropriate staff. The Ministry of Transportation would appreciate your comments on the proposal by October 28, Please provide your written feedback regarding the speed limit pilot to Daniel Prelipcean at Thank you in advance for your participation. Sincerely, Dan Remollino P. Eng. Director Attachment c: Greg McClinchey, Chief Administrative Officer Ministry of Transportation Speed Limit Pilot Consultations with Ministries and Municipalities August 2019 Summary of Proposal On May 1, 2019, the Minister announced that the province was looking at reviewing speed limits by launching a pilot and consultations. On May 10, 2019, the Minister announced more details on the pilot and consultations: Approved corridors for a 110 km/h trial starting September 2019 Highway 402, London to Sarnia (84 km) QEW, Hamilton to St. Catharines (39 km) Highway 417, East of Ottawa to Quebec/Ontario border (100 km) The ministry is currently exploring options for a fourth pilot location in Northern Ontario In addition to the 110 km/h pilot, the ministry is initiating consultations to discuss Ontario provincial highway speed limits in general. 1 Background Provincial Highway Speed Limits Ontario s roads are among the safest in North America. The ministry reviews Ontario s speed limits periodically to make sure they are appropriate, taking into account factors such as road design, traffic volumes, average operating speeds, and collision trends. The objectives of the proposal are to align Ontario with other provinces that have increased speed limits over 100 km/h on selected roads and to safely align posted speed limits with operating speeds. Average operating speeds on 400-series highways range from 96 to 114 km/h and 85 th percentile speeds* range from 110 to 124 km/h. Appropriate enforcement on proposed provincial highway segments will help to safely implement a pilot in order to evaluate the impacts of increased speed limits on Ontario s roads. * The 85th percentile speed is the speed at which 85% of traffic is travelling at or below. The 85 th percentile is often considered an indication of the appropriate speed limit, based on the reasoning that drivers travel at a speed at which they feel comfortable to avoid crashes. 2 Speed Limit Pilot: Key Features Pilot Site Selection: Sections of controlled access highway that can safely accommodate a speed limit of 110 km/h. Enforcement: In consultation with Ministry of the Solicitor General and police, appropriate enforcement for vehicle speeds over the posted limit within pilot sections to be pursued. Truck Speed Limiter Law: maintained at 105 km/h province-wide, including pilot locations. Stunt Driving Law: Proposed to apply at 150 km/h where the speed limit is more than 100 km/h, but otherwise remain applicable at 50 km/h over the speed limit (for more information on Ontario s stunt driving law see Appendix A). Pilot Duration: two years to allow for pilot evaluation. Signing: Safety information and speed limit signing will be installed to advise motorists. Proposed Implementation: September SPEED LIMIT PILOT LOCATION SELECTION Segments of all 400 series and controlled access divided highways were considered, with the exception of sections that have: Safety issues Heavy congestion Core / collector systems Limited length Closely spaced interchanges Analysis is continuing to confirm a proposed pilot location in Northern Ontario. 4 SPEED LIMIT PILOT LOCATION OVERVIEW 5 SPEED LIMIT PILOT #1 QUEEN ELIZABETH WAY 6 SPEED LIMIT PILOT #2 HIGHWAY 402 7 SPEED LIMIT PILOT #3 HIGHWAY 417 8 OTHER JURISDICTIONS There are currently six jurisdictions in Canada that have set their speed limits in excess of 100 km/h on select segments of certain highways (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan). The 2018 review of speed limit increases and subsequent speed roll backs on some highway sections in British Columbia, showed that the overall number of serious crashes increased by 11.1%, the 85 percentile increased on 58% of the raised speed limit sections and total collisions increased on 52% of the raised speed limit sections. Jurisdictional scanning also indicates that no other province introduced raised limits on a pilot basis. MTO is recommending that raised limits be implemented on a pilot basis to fully assess safety and operational impacts. U.S. maximum speed limit on rural interstates varies from 60 mph (97 km/h) to 85 mph (137 km/h); 17 states are at 75 mph (121 km/h) or higher (all but one west of the Mississippi); 24 are at 70 mph (113 km/h). 9 JURISDICTIONAL INFORMATION Notes: Speed cameras are used in Manitoba, Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan For jurisdictions with posted limit = 110 km/h, this is only on specific portions of the network. 10 JURISDICTIONAL INFORMATION JURISDICTION MAX. LIMIT (km/h) DATE OF INCREASE DONE ON A PILOT BASIS? SUPPLEMENTED BY AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT AT PILOT LAUNCH SUPPLEMENTED BY AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT AT LATER DATE Alberta No No No* British Columbia No No No Manitoba No No No* New Brunswick Unknown No No Nova Scotia No No No Saskatchewan No No No* * While photo radar is used in these jurisdictions, it is generally restricted to high-risk areas such as urban intersections and school zones; in Saskatchewan photo radar is also used on highways with a maximum speed of 90km/h. 11 NEXT STEPS Consultation and Approvals Consultation with other ministries and external stakeholders. Seek appropriate policy and regulatory approvals for pilot. Implementation Proposed implementation date in September 2019 for pilot. Post-implementation Two year Pilot evaluation and monitoring (collection and review of speed and collision data). Exploring complementary safety measures through other legislative and regulatory amendments such as adjusting speeding fine structure (HTA), demerit points (O. Reg. 339/94), variable speed limits (HTA), measures to address slower traffic not keeping right as required (HTA), etc. 12 APPENDIX A: ONTARIO S STUNT DRIVING LAW Amendments to section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) regarding drivers who engage in street races, driving contests and driving stunts took effect on September 30, The supporting regulation (Ontario Regulation 455/07) to section 172 includes the definitions of key terms used in the legislation, including street race, driving contest and driving stunt. These definitions include a number of high-risk driving behaviours such as: driving 50 km/h or more above the posted speed limit; driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to prevent another vehicle from passing; intentionally cutting off another vehicle; or intentionally driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian or fixed object. Penalties for street racing include: An immediate seven-day roadside vehicle impoundment and a seven-day driver s license suspension; A fine between $2,000 and $10,000, (highest fine for this offence in Canada); Jail term of up to six months; and, Licence suspension of up to two years for the first conviction and up to 10 years for a second conviction within 10 years, or six demerit points. 13
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