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Group calls for speed limit to be 30 km/h on municipal streets across Quebec


A lobby group for pedestrians is calling on Quebec to lower speed limits on municipal streets to a maximum of 30 kilometres per hour across the province.

“Thirty kilometres per hour is the adequate speed for safe cohabitation. This is what the World Health Organization says we have to do to save lives," said Pietons Quebec’s executive director Sandrine Cabana-Degani.

The recommendation comes on a day when a 49-year-old woman was struck by car in Rosemont, suffering a broken arm. The speed limit on the street where she was struck is 50 kilometres per hour.

"We see reports of people who are scared," said Jason Savard, spokesperson for the Association of Pedestrians and Cyclists of NDG, another pedestrian safety group on board with the proposal by Pietons Quebec.

"We all know going above 30 kilometres per hour, there can be more serious injuries for pedestrians and whatnot, so it’s keeping it at 30 and under, which is much safer for everyone."

Pietons Quebec says pedestrians are almost four times more likely to survive a collision at 30 kilometres per hour compared to one at 50.

"We’re talking heavy, 1.5-tonne vehicles colliding with a body. Yeah, there’s going to be some damage and the little faster you go, yeah it’s going to be proportional, exponential even. So, it’s important to especially reduce the speed limits," said Savard.

While pedestrian groups say speed limit consistency would be easier for drivers to respect, Andre Durocher of CAA-Quebec calls the suggestion "impractical."

"The impact on traffic, just think in the morning where everybody leaves from their house, they’re not in school zones, but they’re leaving to go to work, they slow down to that speed, that doesn’t have a backward effect? And actually, there’s a concern that it would create more pollution also," he said.

CAA-Quebec said a one-size-fits-all approach should not be applied, and doubts there’s a consensus across Quebec for a 30 kilometre an hour maximum.

Savard said it's a question of safety.

"We've seen a lot of close calls, we see injuries, we see reports, and so it’s not a great view or sentiment of how things are going in the city," he said. Top Stories

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