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Politics

Ontario to look at raising speed limits across 400-series highways

WATCH ABOVE: Ontario's transportation minister says the provincial government will be reviewing the speed limits for 400-series highways. Travis Dhanraj reports.

Ontario’s transportation minister says the province is looking at launching pilot projects and public consultations to review speed limits across highways.

“The 400-series highways were built for, I believe, a speed limit of 120 km/h safely,” said Minister Jeff Yurek at a press conference at the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Wednesday morning.

Raising speed limits is among a few items the government is looking at tabling at Queen’s Park within the next week.

READ MORE: Ontario to upload Toronto subway expansions, will table transit legislation Thursday

“If you look back on the history of why speed limits were set where they were back in the 70s, there was an energy crisis and in order to conserve fuel they lowered the speed limits on our highway system and it stayed that way ever since,” Yurek explained to reporters. “I’ve heard lots of stakeholders mention that maybe it’s time to take a review of how our speed limits are in the province and we’ll have more to say next week on this issue.”

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The minister said they would collaborate with law enforcement officials and the public to see if “that’s the path Ontarians want to go.”

Details on which highways would have increased speed limits, or exactly how high limits would increase have yet to be revealed.

READ MORE: Single-rider motorcycles could soon use HOV lanes in Ontario, government says

Yurek also touched on looking at increasing fines for slow-moving drivers that travel in the left-hand lane.

“Because when people drive dangerously slow, the safety of others is put at risk,” said Yurek.

The province has already announced they are planning to allow motorcycles to use HOV (high occupancy travel) lanes to increase safety on highways.

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