MEDIA RELEASE: CAA survey reveals over half of Ontario drivers say speeding is a ‘big problem’ in the provinceAugust 3, 20233 min read
A new study conducted on behalf of CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO), found that 51 per cent of Ontario drivers label speeding as a ‘big problem’ within the province – that number has crept up three per cent compared to last year.
“Speeding continues to be the most common dangerous driving behaviour that drivers are both witnessing and engaging in,” says Michael Stewart, community relations consultant, Government and Community Relations, CAA SCO.
While many have witnessed motorists speeding, they don’t believe they are the issue
The study also found that 81 per cent of Ontario drivers have witnessed others speeding but only 38 per cent admit to doing it themselves. After their main concern of speeding, other common dangerous driving behaviours that drivers see and admit to doing include:
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Running stop signs and red lights
Among those who admit to speeding, almost two thirds (63 per cent) drive between 10-19 km/hr over the speed limit.
“It may seem harmless to drive an additional 10 or 15 km/hr above the posted speed limit, but the risk outweighs the benefit,” says Stewart.
According to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, travelling even 10 km/hr over the speed limit increases the likelihood of a collision by 60 per cent, while saving the average driver only four minutes on their commute.
“Drivers are urged to be considerate of their speed and drive according to speed limits to keep themselves and others safe on the road,” says Stewart.
Most drivers say they believe photo radar helps deter speeding, but many try to avoid it.
While 77 per cent of Ontario drivers believe that Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) can help deter speeding, one in four drivers try to avoid roads with an ASE. It was also found that 44 per cent are likely to increase their speed after passing an ASE camera. According to the survey, 1.5 million Ontario drivers have received a ticket from an ASE camera.
Steep penalties remain for excessive speeding.
The rise in speeding and stunt driving prompted the Ontario government to introduce tougher fines and penalties in 2021, through the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act. Drivers caught by police travelling 50 km/hr or more over the speed limit, or 40 km/hr or more on roads with a speed limit less than 80 km/hr, face:
- An immediate licence suspension for 30 days and their vehicle impounded for 14 days.
- If convicted, drivers face a minimum fine of $2,000, up to a maximum of $10,000.
- A first conviction will also net a minimum one-year licence suspension, while a third would carry a lifetime driving ban.
“If you come across an aggressive driver who is speeding, the best thing you can do is stay calm, focus on your driving and do not engage with the other driver,” says Stewart. “If someone is driving erratically or you believe their behaviour could be an immediate danger to others, safely pull over and call 911, or report them online when you get home.”
Michael Stewart Community Relations Consultant
Michael oversees CAA South Central Ontario's traffic safety outreach efforts.