Canada Safety Council Calls on Ontario to Enact Zero Tolerance for Speeding
OTTAWA – In the interests of public safety, the Canada Safety Council calls on Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca to introduce a zero tolerance policy for speeding. While the ministry is currently considering a reduction in the default speed limit in cities and towns, the Canada Safety Council believes a more effective tactic would be to introduce and enforce real penalties for speeding.
“The issue in Ontario, as we see it, is an implicit tolerance for speeding,” says Raynald Marchand, General Manager of Programs. “Currently there are no penalties for speeding five or 10 per cent over the posted limit, and drivers know that. Modern speedometers and radar speed detectors are remarkably accurate. While historically there might have been a need to add a cushion for error, today there’s just no excuse for speeding by any margin.”
Currently, driver penalties for speeding in Ontario are among the most lenient in the country. An Ontario driver caught speeding by 10 kilometres per hour faces a paltry $35 ticket, and no demerit penalties on their driver’s license. Ontario drivers are not penalized by demerit points until they’re caught exceeding the speed limit by 16 kilometres per hour or more.
By contrast, there is no lower limit for issuing demerits for speeding in many other jurisdictions. In Alberta, drivers can receive two demerit points for going up to 15 kilometres per hour over, with fines starting at $57 for going as little as one kilometre an hour over. In British Columbia, speeding infractions even at the low range, can net three demerit points and fines starting at $136. In Nova Scotia, drivers caught going from one to 15 kilometres per hour over the limit face a fine of $227.41 and two points. A driver in Manitoba caught going 10 kilometres per hour over faces a ticket of at least $181.50.
By penalizing drivers who speed with demerit points and real fines, Ontario could significantly reduce road collisions, injuries and fatalities.
A common misperception among drivers is that speeding by five, 10, 15, even 20 kilometres per hour is no big deal. However, a difference of 10 kilometres per hour can be the difference between life and death. In ideal conditions, a car travelling at 50 kilometres per hour will require at least 34 metres to stop. The same car travelling at 60 kilometres per hour will need 45 metres.
Lax legislation sends the wrong message to drivers, reinforcing misperceptions and giving little incentive to drivers to respect the speed limit.
About the Canada Safety Council
The Canada Safety Council is an independent, knowledge-based, charitable organization dedicated to the cause of safety. We provide national leadership in safety through information, education and collaboration. We are Canada’s voice and resource for safety.
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