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Slower speeds, safer communities: City of Hamilton begins implementing speed limit reductions in neighbourhoods and school zones

HAMILTON, ON –  Earlier this month, Hamilton City Council directed staff to begin reducing the speed limit in residential neighbourhoods across the city. Beginning this week, residents will notice new signs and posted speed limits within select residential neighbourhoods, dropping from 50 km/hr to 40km/hr, and to 30km/hr in school zones.

The City plans to install signage across 45 neighbourhoods each year for the next three years, starting with the Ainslie Wood neighbourhood. New signs will be posted on both sides of the roadway creating a ‘gateway’ feature as people enter and exit residential neighbourhoods.

Speeding is one of the largest contributing factors in the cause and severity of collisions. Pedestrians have a 41 per cent higher chance of survival if struck by a car driving 40 km/hr than a car driving 50 km/hr. This is because a slower moving vehicle requires less distance to stop and gives the driver more time to react. As part of its goal of achieving Vision Zero in Hamilton, the City aims to change driver behaviour and protect vulnerable populations by enforcing safer speeds across the city.

“The City receives approximately 700 requests annually from residents concerned with speeding and dangerous driving on residential roads. Servicing these requests on a case by case basis is costly and inefficient, so implementing speed limit reductions on a neighbourhood basis allows us to meet the safety needs of residents quicker.” - Edward Soldo, Director, Transportation Operations and Maintenance, Public Works

Quick facts

  • In May 2017, the Province of Ontario passed Bill 65, the Safer School Zone Act which permits municipalities to reduce speed limits on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood basis.
  • In February 2019, Hamilton City Council Hamilton approved the Hamilton Strategic Road Safety Program and Vision Zero Action Plan that identified the need for reduced speed limits on local residential roadways and in designated school zones.
  • According to the World Health Organization, pedestrians have a 90 per cent change of surviving a car crash at 30 km/hr or below. 
  • 30 km/hr is the recommended speed limit suggested by the World Health Organization for areas where vulnerable road users are particularly at risk.

Residents can find out if their neighbourhood is included in phase one of the project by visiting www.hamilton.ca/speedreductions