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Faster and more furious, sounds like recipe for disaster

In this week's column, Wendy questions proposed changes to Ontario's speed limit on 400-series highways
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There are so many times in life where I just assume those in power must know much more than I do. They likely have more knowledge, more education or more experience.

However, I must admit this is happening less and less as I watch the dumbing down of society.

Now, I find myself saying: "Well, that's the stupidest thing I've heard lately."

Most recently it was in the news reports that Ontario is considering raising speed limits across some 400-series highways.

Really? Faster?

Have you driven anywhere lately? It doesn't matter what time of day or what route you are on, it is like a racetrack. Scenery is a blur.

Ontario's transportation minister says the province will be reviewing the speed limits and launching a pilot project on certain highways. They have chosen the 402 between London and Sarnia, the QEW between Hamilton and St. Catharines and the 417 between Ottawa and the Quebec border.

The study will go for two years. 

Jeff Yurek says, "the 400-series highways were built for speeds of 120 (kilometres per hour) safely." 

That is exactly what most drivers are doing now. So, if they up the limit to 110 km/h, then isn't it human nature to push it? So, now we will do 130 or 140 km/h? Speed racing is 150 km/h.

Yurek goes on to say that speed limits were set in the '70s when we were in an energy crisis and they were never changed.

Weren't there fewer vehicles then? Wasn't there less congestion and fewer lanes?

I don't think we were in such a rush to get to the disco back then. I don't even think my vehicle went that fast.

Every time the OPP do a traffic blitz, we get the same message: Speed kills. I have never once heard an officer say it would be safer if we sped up.

The province is planning consultation with police agencies and the public and I hope there is a lot of it.

It will be interesting to hear what commuters and truckers think of it. They take their lives in their hands daily.

So, let's review. Construction, road rage, fatigue, distracted driving and, soon, possibly higher speed limits.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster. 

Here is my calm assessment.

For the love God, nooooooo! People drive like maniacs. Pedal off the metal!

I guess the new slogan is GET ONTARIO MOVING (at the speed of sound).

I've got a slogan, too: Get in, sit down, shut up and hold on.


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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