Highway 401 leading to Windsor-Essex is not part of Ontario speed limit pilots and consultations.

Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek announced on Friday that speeds will be increased on three sections of highways as pilot locations. The highway speed will be posted at 110 km/h starting in mid-September.

The pilot locations are:

- Highway 402 from London to Sarnia;

- Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from St. Catharines to Hamilton; and

- Highway 417 from Ottawa/Gloucester to Ontario/Quebec border.

At the same time, the government will launch province-wide consultations on how to safely increase highway speeds to align with other provinces, and how people currently drive.

Consultations will begin in the next few weeks.

Yurek was joined by Bob Bailey, MPP for Sarnia-Lambton, for the announcement in London on Friday.

Yurek said the pilot project will help explore new ways to improve traffic flow and safety.

Yurek added the government will listen to people's suggestions on how to best modernize Ontario's highway network to better serve their needs.

"Results from the pilot and all feedback received during consultations will be carefully considered as a part of the final decision-making process," said Yurek. "We're also working with our road safety and enforcement partners."

The Ministry of Transportation is exploring options for a fourth pilot in northern Ontario.

"Safety is the government's number one priority and each pilot location was carefully chosen based on a number of factors, including its ability to accommodate higher speed limits," said Yurek.

“Our government is adding extra safety measures such as increased signage and messaging. We will also protect the safety of drivers by proposing amendments that keep the street-racing penalties at 150 km/h,” said Yurek.

This means in the speed limit pilot zones, the street-racing penalties will apply at 40 km/h over the posted speed limit, not the usual 50 km/h over.

"The Ontario Safety League traditionally bases their position on science, and the science tells us that although excessive speed is a factor in many crashes, under normal driving conditions and with reasonable driving attention it would have virtually no impact," says Brian Patterson, president and CEO, Ontario Safety League.

The CAA is also working with the Ministry of Transportation to help educate and inform motorists on safe driving.

“It is important that drivers pay particular attention to weather and road conditions and adjust accordingly, regardless of the posted speed limit,” said Elliott Silverstein, CAA South Central Ontario. “A pilot program is an ideal way to gradually explore the subject of raising speed limits and determine the impact on road safety.”