Manitoba Trucking Association won't support higher speed limits

| 7/7/2006

Elected officials in Manitoba are considering raising the speed limit on four-lane, divided highways, including the Trans-Canada Highway.

The Trans-Canada speed limit is currently 100 kilometers-per-hour limit, about 62 mph.

Manitoba Transportation Minister Scott Smith said earlier this week that consultants are studying a possible increase to 110 km/h, or just over 68 mph.

Two provinces to the west, Saskatchewan and Alberta, have raised speed limits on similar highways.

The Manitoba Trucking Association is on record opposing the proposed speed increase, which would require a legislative vote to become law.

“Our rationale is based on the big points, safety, economics and environmental,” MTA General Manager Bob Dolyniuk told Land Line.

“The other issue we have is that, on the Trans-Canada Highway, there’s hundreds of controlled intersections where truck highways enter the Trans-Canada Highway,” Dolyniuk said. “The faster the traffic is traveling, the more chance of an interaction.”

MTA jumped on board with the neighboring Ontario Trucking Association in promoting mandatory speed limiters at 105 km/h for all heavy trucks doing business in Canada.

“Certainly the MTA is on the record supporting speed limiters,” Dolyniuk said.

With the possibility that the Manitoba legislature could move to increase speed limits higher than the suggested governed speed of 105 km/h, that raises the issue of split speed limits.

“Would we want split speed limits? No we wouldn’t,” Dolyniuk said. “In my mind, if you have one group of vehicles maintaining one speed, and another group of vehicles maintaining a different speed, I would estimate that there would be a higher rate of rear-end collisions.”

However, Dolyniuk said the research he’s found on split speed limits doesn’t convince him one way or another that split speeds are good or bad.

By David Tanner, staff writer