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Ontario to increase speed limit on Hwy. 416 to 110 km/h

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Drivers will be allowed to move a little faster along Highway 416 south of Ottawa and on sections of Hwy. 401 in eastern Ontario.

The Ontario government has announced the speed limit will increase to 110 kilometres an hour on 10 sections of highways across the province, including on Hwy. 416 and sections of Hwy. 401.

Starting this summer, the speed limit will increase from 100 km/h to 110 km/h on approximately 70 kilometres of Hwy. 416 between Hwy. 401 and Ottawa.

The Ontario government has announced plans to increase the speed limit on Hwy. 416 between Hwy. 401 and Ottawa to 110 km/h, starting this summer. (Google Maps)

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe says he supports boosting the speed limit on the highway connecting Ottawa with the Hwy. 401.

“Highway 416, from Hwy 401 to Ottawa, is a crucial trade corridor for our city. This amendment will give residents and businesses an effective way to get where they need to be," Sutcliffe said in a statement released by the province.

"This will streamline the movement of trade goods in and out of our city, helping to keep our economy growing and prospering."

Other areas in eastern Ontario that will see the speed limit increased to 110 km/h are Hwy. 401 from Belleville to Kingston (approximately 44 km), Hwy. 401 between Colborne and Belleville (approximately 66 km) and Hwy. 401 from Hwy. 16 to the Quebec boundary (approximately 107 km).

The changes will take effect on the "majority" of the 10 sections of highways across Ontario on July 12 with the remainder happening "before the end of the year," according to the province. 

"We want you to be safe"

The president of the Ontario Safety League says the increased speed limits should not startle anyone.

"We believe the science and engineering went into this before the decisions were made. It will continue to be monitored if there's a problem," Brian Patterson tells CTV News Ottawa.

"At the end of the day, I think, it's not likely to change how people are thinking about the way they're driving, but it should cause people to remember that, you know, that's the posted limit for ideal conditions, not the posted limit for the thunderstorm you're racing through trying to show off to your friends."

Patterson says it's important for motorists not to feel they're getting "an extra bonus" on the roads.

"We want you to be safe. We want you to pay attention to the speed limits," Patterson says.

"If it says 110, remember, like all posted limits in ideal conditions."

Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria held a media conference in Hamilton to discuss the speed limit changes.

"Much of Ontario’s highway network was originally designed to safely accommodate speed limits of 110 km/h and data from our changes in 2022 show they do just that,” Sarkaria said in a statement. "These evidence-based increases are a common-sense change to make life more convenient for Ontario drivers while bringing our highway speed limits in line with other Canadian provinces."

Stunt driving limit set at 150 km/h

The Ontario government says stunt driving penalties will continue to apply to motorists stopped going 150 km/h on the highway.

"On the highway sections with increased speed limits, stunt driving penalties will apply at 40 km/h over the posted speed limit," the province said.

Patterson says the Ontario Safety League supports the Ministry of Transportation's approach to the stunt driving rules.

"There's no way we would have endorsed this in the beginning if it just moved the stunt driving from 150 to 160," Patterson said.

"They said, 'No, we're keeping it at 150.' So if you think you got an extra 10 kilometres of speed in that high risk category, think again."

CTV Public Safety analyst Chris Lewis is raising concerns about the higher speed limits, saying the province "can't assume that everyone's going to drive safely."

"It worries me a little bit that they're increasing the speeds on some highways," Lewis tells CTV News Ottawa.

"Given that you can't legislate stupidity and some people are going to drive those speeds in poor conditions, when in reality they should be driving the current speed limits and in bad conditions. And some just don't have the driving skill to be able to pull it up."

Lewis says the faster speeds will mean a longer stopping distance for drivers.

"When something happens, like a deer or a car or a person steps out on the road, so that's always a consideration," Lewis said. "But once again, people are just going to have to drive to the conditions and drive to their abilities."

In 2019, Ontario launched a pilot project to increase the speed limits on six sections of provincial highways to 110 km/h, including on Hwy. 417 between Ottawa and the Quebec border and Hwy. 417 from the Kanata area to Arnprior.

In 2022, Ontario announced the 110 km/h speed limit would be permanently implemented on those sections of the highway.

The government notes the maximum speed limit on highways in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan is 110 km/h, while the speed limit is 120 km/h in British Columbia.

Here is the list of 10 sections of highways across Ontario that will see the speed limit increase to 110 km/h:

  • Hwy 401, Tilbury, extending the existing 110 km/h zone further east by 7 km
  • Hwy 401 from Hwy 35/115 to Cobourg (approximately 35 km)
  • Hwy 401 from Colborne to Belleville (approximately 44 km)
  • Hwy 401 from Belleville to Kingston (approximately 66 km)
  • Hwy 401 from Hwy 16 to Quebec boundary (approximately 107 km)
  • Hwy 403 from Woodstock to Brantford (approximately 26 km)
  • Hwy 403 from Brantford to Hamilton (approximately 14.5 km)
  • Hwy 406 from Thorold to Welland (approximately 13 km)
  • Hwy 416 from Hwy 401 to Ottawa (approximately 70 km)
  • Hwy 69 from Sudbury to French River (approximately 60 km)

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Jackie Perez

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