NOTHING LIMITING ABOUT THESE SPEED LIMITS
Two other couples were enjoying an autumn weekend in a B & B with Mary and me when the transmission of my van started acting up. You know, Dodges when they get to 125,000 kms,
So I limped back to Toronto at 100 km/h because the traffic would have run right over the top of me if I had gone slower.
Just another example of how 99% of Ontario drivers drive faster than the speed limit on our highways. Trouble is, they drive at a mixture of speeds because not all of them feel they can trust the unstated deal by the OPP to let you go 116 or so without worry.
I have made the case to three transportation ministers over the years that when Queen's Park insists on a 100 speed limit on Highway 401, all it does is encourage scofflawism. And it is not healthy in a democracy to have too many laws, bylaws and regulations that everyone ignores.
One of those ministers confessed that if he stuck to the speed limit, his trip to Queen's Park after a weekend in his riding would really be an ordeal.
Strangely enough, some of my colleagues on the Ontario Safety League, a volunteer advisory agency on safety, particularly on the roads, didn't share my views that it is silly to post speeds of 100 when most traffic routinely goes at 115 and a few at 120, and the OPP only pull you over for greater speeds than those, or for erratic driving
What prompts me to return to this chestnut of an issue is that the British Parliament is raising the national speed limit on major roads, which is already 70 mph or 112 km/h, to 80 mph or 128 km/h.
The justification is that the transport ministry says this will be a fiscal improvement because it would reduce travel times. The minister says that in the four decades since the speed was set at 112, there has been a large decline in fatalities. Officials think that faster legal speeds would be safer too. I'm not sure I would agree with that but the experts say that accidents happen when you have vehicles moving at much different speeds and we certainly get that now.
Environmentalists have rushed to condemn this, saying it will increase fuel consumption. An interesting argument since one could argue that a stream of traffic moving easily at 120 would not be burning much more gas than the present dog's breakfast of different speeds.
For me, the major problem in driving our 400 series of super roads is the rogue 18-wheelers which will ride your bumper in the middle lane even if you're doing 120.
Let the cops pull them over after they see their traumatic stunts, and go after the idiots running at 130 or more, and leave the rest of us to cruise easily and safely at a speed that is definitely not the one that authorities post.