‘Moving at the speed of government’ is a phrase that’s often said when legislation suffers through seemingly endless delays.
However, one matter that the provincial government would be wise to quickly get moving is its consultations on allowing municipalities to possibly lower their standard local speed limits.
Lowering speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 km/h is a measure that could ultimately save lives, which has already been discussed for large portions of the town of Uxbridge, and municipalities across the province should have the right to set this limit where its wanted by the local residents.
According to the World Health Organization, pedestrians that are hit by a car or truck travelling at around 45 km/h have a 50 per cent chance of being killed. But, if you reduce the rate to a vehicle travelling 30 km/h or slower, the survival rate jumps to 90 per cent.
Additionally, giving local authorities the power to lower the speed limit will offer the best tool yet for curbing heavy truck traffic in urban areas, which has plagued parts of North Durham, most notably Uxbridge, for several decades with minimal results.
Not every situation is created equal, and that’s why Ontario should be applauded for consulting with municipalities about which traffic control option works best for them.
Of course, if it’s approved there will be a cost associated with the change, namely in potentially changing over thousands of speed limit signs across the province. But, it will be small potatoes when compared to the human lives this measure could potentially save.
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