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Ontario is increasing the speed limit to 110 km/h on some highways. Should Quebec?

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Ontario announced Wednesday that the speed limit will increase to 110 km/h this summer on 10 sections of highways, including a portion of Hwy. 416 near Ottawa and part of Hwy. 401 in eastern Ontario.

However, Quebec Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault shot down the idea Wednesday, saying the province will not follow Ontario's lead. 

Speaking to CTV News, some Montreal drivers said they were in favour of the new measure.

"I don't know the statistics behind it but I think increasing the speed limit to 110 might not be a bad idea. I think a lot of time we could benefit from speeding up traffic a little bit," said Tom Dodds.

"I think it makes more sense because there's always range and allowance to go above the limit and that would give more room to people. I think that would be practical," said Meriem Edward.

"I think people right now are worried. The limit is 100 so people speed and go 115 because the police, they supposedly give you a little bit of leeway. If you put it at 110 people think people are going to go 125 and [not] get caught by police but I think that still doesn't make it any more dangerous — 115, 125 — if somebody's careful, it's careful," Ricardo said.

The Ontario government noted that the maximum speed limit on highways in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan is 110 km/h, while the speed limit is 120 km/h in British Columbia.

In Quebec, the maximum speed limit on highways is 100 km/h.

André Durocher, the director of community relations and road safety at CAA, said it would be too "simplistic" to just follow what other provinces are doing and that the increased limit would need to be studied.

In Quebec, the top three causes for road collisions are speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving, he said, noting the faster you travel the slower your reaction time is.

"If you go from 100 to 110 — if something happens — your reaction time will be less and the consequences could be dire," said Durocher, a former Montreal police officer. "That being said, we need to take into consideration the condition of our roads. I often drive from Florida to Montreal … leaving from Miami, coming home to Montreal, I encounter my first potholes when I cross the border."

He said while cars are safer these days at higher speeds compared to decades ago, there are considerably more distractions for drivers on the road. "Cars are becoming entertainment centres with everything, so there's a lot of distractions," Durocher said.

Ontario Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria said in a statement that "much of Ontario's highway network was originally designed to safely accommodate speed limits of 110 km/h and data from our changes in 2022 show they do just that."

The Ontario government said the changes will take effect on the "majority" of the 10 sections of highways across the province on July 12, with the remainder happening "before the end of the year."

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