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Setting Limits: Université du Québec releases report on reduced speed limits and collisions

Montreal, Quebec — The Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has released a study assessing the risk factors associated with speed limit reductions in the province of Quebec.

The Université du Québec’s research arm published their findings on Tuesday, reporting a projected downward trend in collisions when observed under reduced-speed conditions.

According to the INRS’s press release, “the researchers were also able to show that road sections with the posted speed limit at 80 or 90 km/h and a limit reduction of at least 20 km/h had the greatest reduction in road accidents and average speeds.”

“The greater the speed reduction, the higher the prior speed, the greater the reduction in collisions,” said Professor Marie-Soleil Cloutier, an expert in urban studies and road safety at the INRS and lead author of the study.

“One of the challenges was to develop a methodology to analyze speed changes on the network at various times and under different circumstances,” said Ugo Lachapelle, professor in the Department of Urban and Tourism Studies at UQAM.

“Since there is no provincial policy on speed reduction, this approach can continue to be applied to document the impacts and justify a more systematic policy.”

Cloutier said this report aims to address concerns brought forth by municipalities.

“Requests from municipalities for speed limit changes on the MTQ network are increasing over the years. It’s a growing challenge to analyze these requests and grant them while ensuring that it’s safe,” said Cloutier.

The study made use of data from the Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ) between 2006 and 2013.

The INRS’s study can be found here, as part of the September 2021 Journal of Transport & Health.

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