Monday, November 11, 2013



We have all become so used to the speed limits on our major highways being set too low that no one obeys them except for some idiots in the passing lane.
Periodically, some traffic expert points that out, and everyone agrees - including, to my personal knowledge, the cabinet ministers  in charge of setting those limits - but then nothing happens.
And scofflawism is fertilized by the stupidity.
Experienced drivers never limp along at 100 km/h but do up to 116, because they know from what they see around them, and it has often been confirmed to them by experienced cops, that no one is about  to give you a ticket if you are driving calmly under 120 in good road conditions.
All bets are off if the weather is as bad as you weaving in and out because of some idiot dozing in the outside lane. (If they tried that on the autobahns of Europe, they would probably be rammed before the police took them in for a sanity test.)
There are many commentators besides me who have been saying that for years. I have made this point to at least three transportation ministers when they met with the Ontario Safety League board when I was a director. One agreed because he had to commute from his Ottawa riding  to Queen's Park and said the trip would become too time consuming if he obeyed the speed signs.
Apparently the idea that speed limits be raised was posted on the Ontario Liberal Party web site looking for new ideas for the stale government and according to the National Post, reached the top three of a possible 1,151 ideas for change before it was pulled for, probably, being too controversial.
I think the speed limits can be set at 120 for the 400 super roads and at 90 for most highways. If politicians worry that drivers would then go another 20 km/h over the new limit - which obviously would be dangerous considering how many poor drivers are on the roads - increase the fines for speeding. And while you're at it, urge police to pull over drivers dawdling in the outside passing lanes because they are causing more problems and ruining more tempers than any speeder.
The problem, as any cop who has investigated many traffic accidents will tell you, is vehicles moving at much different speeds.
On a good day when traffic is rolling along at 115 to 120, it is much safer than when you have some idiot holding up passing and a few more zipping in and out at over 130.
I often think when I drive through such notorious speed trap zones as the OPP enforcement at Cobourg and Port Hope that we all would be safer and traffic would move quicker if the cops concentrated on the lousy driving where you swear that either they got their licence in a Cracker Jack box or they bought it under the table.
And unfortunately, some have.

1 comment:

mrzee said...

It isn't just Ontario who has unrealistic speed limits. The politicians are addicted to the speeding fine revenue.