Speed limits in Canada

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Canadian speed limits have been posted in kilometres per hour (km/h) since 1977. Before then, when Canada used Imperial units, speed limits were in miles per hour (mph).

Statutory speed limits[edit]

Statutory speed limits are default speed limits set by a statute in each province or territory. They apply on roads which do not have posted speed limits. Posted speed limits may differ from the statutory speed limit as indicated by speed limit signs.

In most provinces and territories, statutory speed limits are 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h in rural areas. [1][2] There is not a statutory speed limit for grade-separated expressways, however the typical speed limit in most provinces is 100 km/h. Statutory speed limits for school zones tend to be 30 or 40 km/h in urban areas and 50 km/h in rural areas.[3]

Where a dash (-) is indicated, there is no statutory speed limit: speed limits must always be posted. Where N/A is indicated, there is no such roadway in the province or territory.

Province or Territory School Zone
(urban / rural)
Urban Rural
(local / highway)
Expressway Highest speed limit
Alberta 30 / 30 50[4] 80 / 100 110[4] 110
British Columbia 30 / 30[5] 50[6] 80[6] -[6] 120[7][8]
Manitoba 30 / 50 50[9] 80 / 100 100[9] 110[10]
New Brunswick 50 / 50[11] 50[12] 80 / 90 110 110
Newfoundland and Labrador 50 / 50 50[13] 80 / 100 100 100
Northwest Territories -[14] 45[15] 90 / 100 N/A 100
Nova Scotia 30 / 50[16] 50[17] 80 / 90 110 110
Nunavut N/A
Ontario -[18] 50[19] 80[19] -[19] 100
Prince Edward Island - / 60 50[20] 80 / 90 N/A 90
Saskatchewan - - 80 / 100[21] 110[22] 110
Québec 30 / 50[23] 50[24] 90 / 90 100 100
Yukon 30 / 40[25] 50[26] 50[27] N/A 100

Regulations[edit]

Speeding penalties on a rural Ontario highway

School zones[edit]

In Ontario, speeding fines double in areas identified as "Community Safety Zones" as well as "school zones".

Construction zones[edit]

In most Canadian provinces, as in most other locales, speed violation fines are double (or more) in construction zones, although in Ontario and Alberta, this only applies if workers are present in the construction zone.

Street Racing[edit]

In Ontario, as of September 2007, drivers caught speeding 50 km/h over the posted speed limit have the vehicle that they are driving impounded immediately for 7 days and their license suspended for 7 days and have to appear before the court. For a first conviction, they face an additional $2,000-$10,000 fine and 6 demerit points; they may also face up to 6 months in jail and licence suspension of up to two years. For a second conviction within 10 years of the first conviction, their license may be suspended for up to 10 years.[28]

Truck Speed Limiters[edit]

In Ontario and Québec, trucks must be electronically limited to 105 km/h.

Radar Detectors[edit]

Radar detectors in Canada are legal only in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. They are illegal to use in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Regardless of whether they are used or not, police and law enforcement officers there may confiscate radar detectors, operational or not, and impose substantial fines in provinces where radar detectors are illegal.[29] Quebec penalizes $500 CAD for use of a radar detector, along with confiscation of the device.[30]

Signage[edit]

A speed limit sign reads "MAXIMUM XX", such as "MAXIMUM 80" for 80 km/h. A minimum speed sign reads "XX MINIMUM", such as "60 MINIMUM" for 60 km/h.

Realism of speed limits[edit]

110 km/h speed limit on the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick

In British Columbia, a review of speed limits conducted in 2002 and 2003 for the Ministry of Transportation found that posted limits on investigated roads were unrealistically low for 1309 km and unrealistically high for 208 km. The reports recommended to increase speed limits for multi-lane limited-access highways constructed to high design standards from 110 km/h to 120 km/h.[31] As described in that report, the Ministry is currently using "...Technical Circular T-10/00 [...] to assess speed limits. The practice considers the 85th percentile speed, road geometry, roadside development, and crash history."

Speed limits in Ontario were lowered from 113 km/h to 100 km/h during the 1970s energy crisis.[32] In spite of safety and fuel economy advances, four decades later the speed limits have never been raised back to the 1960s levels or beyond.[33] Some groups and individuals there are lobbying to increase speed limits from 100 km/h to 130 km/h or 140 km/h.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.tourismpei.com/drive-to-pei
  2. ^ http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/rmv/handbook/DH-Chapter2.pdf
  3. ^ http://novascotia.ca/tran/roadsafety/schoolzonesafetyq&a.asp
  4. ^ a b http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/1951.htm
  5. ^ [RSBC%201996%20c.%20318/00_Act/96318_05.xml#section146 Motor Vehicle Act], R.S.B.C. 1998, c. 318, s. 147(1)
  6. ^ a b c [RSBC%201996%20c.%20318/00_Act/96318_05.xml#section146 Motor Vehicle Act], R.S.B.C. 1998, c. 318, s. 146(1)
  7. ^ http://globalnews.ca/news/1428309/speed-limits-going-up-on-some-b-c-highways
  8. ^ http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/07/03/b-c-speed-limit-bump-to-120-kmh-reflects-growing-consensus-that-faster-is-often-safer/
  9. ^ a b http://residents.gov.mb.ca/print,driving.html
  10. ^ http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/print,index.html?item=5575
  11. ^ http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ps-sp/pdf/drivers_vehicles/driverhandbook/DH_part7_e.pdf
  12. ^ http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ps-sp/pdf/drivers_vehicles/driverhandbook/DH_part4_e.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/drivers/DriversandVehicles/driverLicensing/roadguide.pdf
  14. ^ http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/documents/content/13-04-17%20-%20Basic_Drivers_April%2017%202013.pdf
  15. ^ http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/RLS_FAQ.aspx
  16. ^ http://novascotia.ca/tran/roadsafety/schoolzonesafetyq&a.asp
  17. ^ http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/rmv/handbook/DH-Chapter2.pdf
  18. ^ Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 128(5)
  19. ^ a b c Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 128(1)
  20. ^ http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/tpw_dh_full07.pdf
  21. ^ http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/english/Statutes/Statutes/T18-1.pdf
  22. ^ http://www.gov.sk.ca/news?newsId=0ac2e71b-d06f-4b82-8792-a3ef540a232e
  23. ^ http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road_safety/behaviour/children/schoolbus_transportation/motorists.php
  24. ^ http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road_safety/behaviour/speed/limits/index.php
  25. ^ Motor Vehicles Act, R.S.Y. 2002, c. 153, s. 140(4)
  26. ^ http://www.hpw.gov.yk.ca/pdf/Drivers_Handbook_web_BOOK_Feb7_2013.pdf
  27. ^ Motor Vehicles Act, R.S.Y. 2002, c. 153, s. 138(1)
  28. ^ "DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT". Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  29. ^ "United States Department of State: Consular Information Sheet for Canada". Travel.state.gov. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  30. ^ http://www.bonjourquebec.com/qc-en/faqvoyager0.html
  31. ^ MoT Speed Review Report
  32. ^ http://www.thekingshighway.ca/faq.htm
  33. ^ http://www.thekingshighway.ca/faq.htm
  34. ^ http://digitaljournal.com/article/323216