## How fast can you go?

After some speculation, I guess it’s going to happen.

Higher speed limits coming to 400-series highways

As I write this, I’m relaxing from a drive home along the 401. As I read this article, I’m thinking of the experience from today.

Now, I’m not the guy in the left lane driving 90 km/h with my seat belt stuck in the door bouncing off the roadway. I’m also not the guy buzzing along at least at 150 km/h weaving in and out of traffic to get ahead either. I tend to get into the flow with what I considerable a reasonable speed and put the cruise control on.

Until you get into the construction zones where the speed limit drops to a crawling 80 km/h. Then, it’s a real mix of people doing close to the reduced speed and those who continue along at 150 km/h.

Then it started to rain and we decided to get off the 401 at Highway 74 and drive along the lake on Highway 3, enjoying a slower pace and a little scenery.

Now, I do remember the days of higher speed limits. I do recall the rationale for dropping the limits for safety and to conserve energy. So now, we’re on the rebound – at least for this pilot project.

In education, we all live with pilot projects. There are typically rules and standards by which these projects are measured. I like the message that there will be language to get slower drivers over to the middle or the right. It’s that fast left lane that I wonder about. After today, I can vouch for the fact that there’s no question that 100 km/h is only a suggestion to all of the drivers who are over there.

Will raising the speed limit encourage those drivers to go ever faster? If today’s driver currently does 115 km/h while not getting stopped for speeding, will they be able to cruise along at 125 km/h without a problem? Will there be radar checks to see what the average speeds actually are under the new system? Will the test be the number of accidents experienced? As a fan of Heavy Rescue 401, I know how bad the 402 is from Highway 79 to Sarnia. Will that be a test?

I also suspect like many of the initiatives we’re seeing announced that the final decision about raising the speed limits has probably been made.

Do you have any thoughts about this? How would you conduct a “pilot project” dealing with raising the speed limit?