OPINION: The need for speed

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: The need for speed

At the end of last week, the Ford government announced a new pilot program testing increased speed limits on select sections of some 400 series highways. This program includes a section of Hwy 417 from the Quebec border to Gloucester which has its speed limit bumped up from 100 to 110.

I think this is a great idea. Other provinces already set the speed limit on their main highways to 110 including New Brunswick and Alberta. Also, I drive on the 417 and 401 frequently and rarely see any driver going less than 120 km/h.

This is something that I think the municipalities of Cornwall and the United Counties of SD&G should look at too. Raising the speed limit.

For example, another roadway where few people respect the posted limit is along Montreal Rd. between Boundary Rd. and Belmont St. Along this stretch of road is L’Heritage high school, Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge the seniors home and the Nav Centre. The posted speed limit is 60 km/h on most of it, and as slow as 50km/h along others.

Especially in the section of this road near the Nav Centre, I often see people going 70, 80 and even 90km/h.

At the other end of this section of road, where Montreal Rd. is Water St., from the Seaway International Bridge to Pitt St., again, I often see people exceed the limit of 50km/h. That section of road is four lanes.

If people are exceeding the posted limit consistently in these areas already, then why not test out higher speed limits? If there is no increase in accidents during that pilot period, then why not raise the limits permanently?

In 2015, the province of Ontario conducted a study of Hwy 401 between Oshawa and Bowmanville and found that 85 percent of drivers were going between 113 and 126 km/h. So a speed increase simply formalizes the behaviour of a majority of drivers.

Like I said though, any speed increase on any roadway should be done with the interest of the whole public in mind. If the majority of the public are already exceeding the limit, and that increased speed has not resulted in any serious accidents, then the speed limit should be raised accordingly.

The City of Cornwall in recent years has raised the speed limit on some municipal roads. These include the roads in the Industrial Park, like Education St., which, among other roads in the area, saw the posted speed limit increased from 65 to 70 in 2013.

It is time that the City of Cornwall and the United Counties review the speed limits on their roads. The municipalities should study how fast the majority of drivers are actually moving and should consider raising the limits on those roads accordingly.

What do you think readers? Do you think the speed limits in Cornwall and area are too low? Too high? Just right? What do you think of the province raising the speed limit on 400 series highways to 110km/h? Email me a Letter to the Editor with your opinion to nicholas.seebruch@tc.tc

Share this article