Study: Nearly Everyone on Highway 401 Breaks Speed Limit

The overwhelming majority of drivers on Canada’s busiest highway flat-out ignore the speed limit, a recent study shows. More than 80 percent of the drivers on Highway 401 surpassed the posted speed limit, according to CBC Marketplace, which monitored a segment near Toronto over the course of three days.

Ontario’s speed limits are among the lowest in the world and may require an update, one expert said.

"Most of us try to obey the law. It's just simply when we find the law is not appropriate for the conditions that it gets violated, and obviously here it gets violated on a daily basis," said Martin Parker, a traffic engineer and consultant.

The investigation tracked more than 45,000 vehicles. Only 17 percent adhered to the posted speed limit of 100km/h. More than 30 reached speeds of 150km/h and seven drove faster than 160km/h.

Vehicles averaged a pace of about 120km/h between 6 and 8 p.m.

The same methods used by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation were employed by CBC Marketplace to collect data.