Should Queen’s Park lower speed limits in cities and towns? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Monday, 23 February 2015

Should Queen’s Park lower speed limits in cities and towns?

In an effort to improve safety on our Ontario streets, Queen’s Park is looking to lower the current default speed limit that is set at 50 km/h. Steven Del Duca, Transportation Minister, and the Ontario government are currently running comprehensive consultations with municipalities (such as Thunder Bay, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Mississauga, Toronto, Peterborough, Kitchener, Barrie, Sudbury, London, Hamilton and Orangeville). According to the Toronto Star, consultations will include: workshops, questionnaires and webinars for municipal officials this spring.

According to an insider, “Each municipality that participates in these consultations will have the opportunity to comment and provide input into the impacts of the proposed options for default speed limits, area and boundaries of application and how these could be implemented into their communities.”

The four possibilities that Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government are currently looking at include:

  • Maintain the current default speed limit of 50 km/h
  • Reduce the speed limit to 40 km/h
  • Allow cities and regions to set a default speed limit of either 50 km/h or 40 km/h
  • Permit cities and regions to set different default speed limits

The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study and concluded that “pedestrians hit by a car or truck travelling at around 45 km/h have a 50 per cent chance of being killed. But those struck by a vehicle going 30 km/h or slower have a 90 per cent survival rate.”

In the Office of the Chief Coroner’s 2010 “Pedestrian Death Review”, the report urged that the Province of Ontario develop a walking strategy. One of the recommendations was to amend the Highway Traffic Act to allow local municipalities to lower the default speed limit by 10 km/h to 40 km/h.

Pedestrian Fatalities

According to the report, “When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle travelling at speeds up to 30 km/hr, 10.3 percent were killed or hospitalized with serious injury; over 30 up to 40 km/hr, 20.7 were killed or seriously injured; and if the vehicle were travelling at speeds over 60 km/hr, 54.2 were killed or seriously injured.”

Pedestrian often experience serious injuries, as they have little to no protection from vehicles. If you or a loved one was injured in a car or motor vehicle accident, call Diamond & Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers, Ontario Wide, at 1-800-567-HURT (4878) for professional guidance on how to proceed.

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