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Ont. group pushes for increased speed limits on Hwy. 407

An Ontario group is pushing for boosted speed limits on Highway 407, but the transportation ministry is slamming the brakes on the idea.

Chris Klimek, founder of Stop100.ca, says nearly 40,000 drivers have signed his online petition to have speed limits upped from 100 km/h to 120 km/h or 130 km/h.

He argues that higher speed limits have been safely implemented around the world.

“Those speeds have been globally recognized as safe,” he told CityNews. “Many highways are posted at those limits in many countries around the world.”

Klimek instead argues that lower speed limits pose the real risk.

“If you have a low speed limit, one car is doing 100 km/h, the other is doing 130 km/h, that’s where the dangerous situations come from.”

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said the province has no plans to accommodate speed demons.

“We’re very fortunate in this province to have among the safest roads in North America,” he said in a statement to CityNews. “I think it’s of paramount importance that we do what we need to do to keep them that way. We have no plans to raise speed limits at this time.”

Brian Patterson, president of the Ontario Safety League, thinks upping the limits is a recipe for disaster.

“The faster you are going, the shorter the stopping distance, the greater kinetic energy,” he said. “More people would be injured and killed. At the end of the day, speed is always a factor in some of the major high risk collisions that we see.”

But Klimek insists the 407 is the perfect highway for high speeds, noting its longer ramps and site lines and better maintenance and snow removal.

“Highway 407 is a true engineering model,” he said. “There’s no reason why it can’t be posted 120 km/h or 130 km/h.”