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A study on Highway 401: 24 hours and 37,000 speeders

According to a recent CBC Marketplace study, which collected speed data for three days on the 401 highway – out of 45,000 cars, more than 80 per cent were speeding.

speed test

[Study conducted by CBC Marketplace]

Data from a CBC Marketplace investigation reveals that Ontario has some of the slowest highway speed limits in the world – but few people are actually obeying them. Out of 45,133 cars tracked near Toronto, only 17 per cent were driving at or below the speed limit. Over the course of a single day at one location in particular that was being monitored, dozens of cars were zipping along at such dangerous speeds that the drivers would immediately face a licence suspension if caught. That’s ridiculous to think about!

It also poses the question: Does Canada have a speeding problem – or are the speed limits not high enough? Ontario has some of the slowest highway speed limits in the world – but few people are obeying them.

“If you have that percentage and those numbers driving in excess there’s something very wrong” with the speed limit, says Martin Parker, a traffic engineer who regularly consults on highway speed limits in North America. “Most of us try to obey the law. It’s just simply when we find the law is not appropriate for the conditions that it gets violated, and obviously here it gets violated on a daily basis.”

According to the study:

  • Of the 83 per cent of drivers who were speeding, many were not even close to the speed limit of 100 km/h.
  • Almost 10,000 cars, 22 per cent of all the drivers on the road that day, were travelling at least 20 km/h above the limit.
  • Marketplace also found that 33 drivers were going at dangerously fast speeds: at least 150 km/h.
  • If the rules were enforced, these drivers would have their cars impounded by police. 7 cars were travelling at 160 km/h or faster.

“The risk of a fatality or serious injury is almost five times greater for vehicles crashing at 50 km/h or more above the posted limit on a highway with a posted limit of 100 km/h,” says the website for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

Car crash victims suffer a plethora of injuries ranging from mildly disruptive to life threatening. Some injuries can even be fatal – our team of personal injury lawyers at Graves and Richard can help you.