September 27, 2020

BY MARYSSA MCFADDEN

Accidents are always in the news, whether they involve cyclists, pedestrians or other vehicles.

The death tally keeps growing, especially during the icy winter months. It is ridiculous that we have yet to think of a way to reduce the number of car crashes.

However, Ontario is now exploring reducing the speed limit in high pedestrian areas.

Though no decision has been made and I’m sure this will receive a lot of negative feedback, I am fully on board with this proposal, and the sooner the better.

It is no secret that as people get more comfortable on the road they forget some of the basic rules. They develop some not-so-good habits such as driving faster than they should, rolling through the occasional stop sign or speeding through a yellow light when they could have stopped.

These simple acts may seem harmless, but they could cause a fatal car or pedestrian accident in the blink of an eye.

If a person is hit by a vehicle going 45 km/h they have only a 50 per cent chance of survival, yet when the speed is reduced to 30 km/h their chance of survival is 90 per cent.

Also, a car going 40 km/h can come to a full stop in just 8.5 metres which is 4.5 metres less than the time it takes for a car to stop when travelling at 50 km/h.

These facts alone make me think we could all benefit from a slightly reduced speed limit.

We have become so accustomed to driving fast in order to get to places quickly that I know many people will be against this change.

It is not a crazy idea though.

If the speed limits were reduced, not only would cars be able to stop faster and more effectively, but this would also greatly reduce the number of car accidents. To me, this is worth going slightly slower on the roads.

The scariest part about driving is although you may be a safe driver and follow the rules of the road, there are people all around you who don’t. Some text and drive, some forget to check their blind spots, some speed when they shouldn’t. You constantly have to pay attention, not only to what you’re doing, but what those around you are doing as well. Having a reduced speed limit would keep us all a bit safer, especially pedestrians and cyclists who are hard to see from inside our cars.

Although car accidents will still happen, lowering speed limits could greatly reduce the number of deaths they cause each year.

Whether Ontario will make the change or not has yet to be decided, but I, for one, hope they do.

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