120 km/h provincial highway speed limit proposed by Alta. government private member

EDMONTON — A new private member bill could see maximum speed limits for some provincial freeways increasing to 120 kilometres per hour.

Spruce Grove-Stony Plain MLA Searle Turton introduced Bill 213 in the legislature on Wednesday. The bill, if passed, would amend the Traffic Safety Act to allow the maximum speed limit for many provincial freeways to be set at 120 kilometres per hour.

This change would affect stretches of freeway that the Ministry of Transportation “deems safe” for travel at 120 kilometres per hour. The bill would not affect freeways within urban areas.

No additional information about what the safety criteria used to determine what highways would qualify for the increased speed limit was given.

In a United Conservative Party caucus press release on Thursday, Turton said evidence shows this increase in speed limit would make Alberta highways safer.

“Bill 213 would allow motorists to use our freeways at the speeds they were designed and engineered for, and match posted speed limits with the realistic speeds commuters follow. Evidence shows this would make our freeways safer,” Turton said. “This bill, if passed, would keep people moving in a safe and thoughtful way.”

Currently, 100 kilometres per hour is the maximum speed limit for a provincial highway that is located outside an urban area, with some divided highways bearing a 110 kilometre per hour speed limit.

British Columbia’s Coquihalla Highway is the only highway in Canada that has a speed limit of 120 kilometres per hour.

BC’s Okanagan Connector and Highway 19 both had a 120-kilometre-per-hour speed limit but have since been reduced to 110 kilometres per hour due to an increase in speed-related collisions.

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