Speed Limits And Signals

We are vacationing so posts will be more erratic than usual.  We are currently in Canada.  We first became regular visitors to Ontario when our move to the Midwest coincided with the US moving to a national 55 MPH speed limit.  As Wikipedia notes, many jurisdictions found it to be a major source of revenue.  We found that a less enforced 100 kilometers per hour (KPH) or 62.137 MPH got us home quicker.

Sidebar: In the old days we used 5/8 or 62.5% as an approximation.  Now we just tell the car to use the metric system.  Both the digital readout and the dial speedometer give us kilometers per hour.  It is an impressive bit of technology but another loss for mental math.  End Sidebar.

We thought that this would be a story of democracy.  In the US the scolds have lost and the speed limits have been returned to the states and most states have raised them so that the maximum speeds in most states are 70, 75 or 80 MPH.  Canada has not changed its speed limit in any province we have chanced to enter it is still 100 KPH.  Almost nobody drives 100 KPH but it is still the listed limit.

There is, however, a signal of the real Canadian speed limit.  Every not so often there is a sign that lists the penalties.  Because it happens rarely and we don’t have a photographic memory you will get an approximation of the sign.  It has three lines: 150 KPH means up to a $10,000 fine,
some speed between 120 KPH and 150 KPH means $xxx, and
120 KPH means $100 fine.
All numbers except for 120 and 150 KPH are approximate.  The signal is clear.  The police are not going to give you any trouble up to 120 KPH which is approximately 75 (more precisely 74.56454) MPH.  We passed three police cars at 111 KPH to test the the enforcement of the signal.  We were not willing to test it any more robustly with out of country plates.  You will get some leeway in the US but not as much.  So it turns out the systems are pretty similar.  There is just a different method of communicating the signal of what speed is acceptable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s