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Road Safety and Speed Limits

For the safety of all our residents, especially children and the elderly, reduce your speed and follow the posted speed limit.

Traffic calming measures

In an effort to reduce speeds on some municipal roads, we have installed different measures to help change the way people drive and to slow them down. Throughout Clarington, you may find:

  • Roundabouts (traffic circles)
  • Road narrowing
  • Raised centre median islands

Stop signs and obstructed views

Motorist and pedestrian safety is key on our Clarington roads. Knowing how to stop safely and navigate our roads past any visual obstructions is an important skill.

Drivers are required to come to a complete stop before all stop signs and red traffic lights. You must stop at the stop line if it is marked on the pavement. If there is no stop line, stop at the crosswalk, even if it isn't marked. If there is no crosswalk, stop at the edge of the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, stop at the edge of the intersection. Wait until the way is clear before entering the intersection. To learn more about stopping, read the Ministry of Transportation Driver's Handbook.

Blind intersections

Occasionally, you may encounter situations where visibility is obstructed at a blind intersection. In this case, come to a complete stop at the blind intersection, then slowly ease forward past any obstructions to see if the intersection is clear so that you can proceed. This is known as the “creep and peep,” or “easing” method. Learn more about navigating blind intersections by reading the Ministry of Transportation Handbook.

Photos below: A partially obstructed view from the driver's perspective at a stop sign.

Car stopped at stop sign with obstructed view

Photos below: The driver, after coming to a complete stop, has eased forward to the edge of the crossing lanes. From this position, sight lines have significantly improved, allowing the driver to safely and confidently proceed.

Car stopped at stop sign that has eased forward for better visibility

Frequently asked questions

What is the speed limit on my street?
Under the Highway Traffic Act, the speed limit within a city, town or built-up area is 50 km/h, unless otherwise posted by the municipality. On roads that do not have speed limit signs, the speed limit is 50 km/h.
How are different speed limits determined?

In determining the proper speed limit, a number of factors are considered, including the width of the road, traffic volumes, pedestrian activity, existing operating speeds, collision history, intersection spacing and the number of entranceways.

Speeds are established in the Highway Traffic Act and by local and Regional by-laws. An effective speed limit is reflective of both the existing operating speed and of driver expectations.

Can the speed limit be lowered?
Lowering the posted speed limit does not necessarily decrease the speed of vehicles, reduce collisions or improve safety. If the limit is unrealistically low, it creates a greater speed variance this is a factor in collisions as it tends to lead to more passing and unsafe manoeuvres. For example, some drivers may adhere to the speed limit while others drive at a speed they are comfortable with.
What should I do about the vehicles that speed on my street?

Residents concerned with excessive speed or dangerous driver behaviour are encouraged to participate in the Road Watch program found on the Durham Regional Police Service website. The Road Watch program gives residents an opportunity to participate in identifying and reporting dangerous and aggressive driving.

Another tool is the radar message board. It displays the actual speed of the passing car and makes the driver aware of his/her speed without the consequence of a fine. It also monitors and collects the speed data. To request a radar message board installation on your street, please contact Clarington’s Traffic Coordinator.

Use our Traffic Information Map to see which streets have been monitored by a radar message board in the past few years.

For more information on speeding, see the Region of Durham's Road Safety page.

What is traffic calming?

Traffic calming is a term most commonly associated with physical features placed on a roadway to influence the speed of vehicles.

Traffic calming measures such as speed humps can have a positive influence in reducing vehicle speeds. However, there are negative effects associated with traffic calming including increased noise, increased air pollution, and diversion of traffic to adjoining streets. One of the most important factors is the support of the residents living on the street where traffic calming measures are being proposed.

Do traffic calming measures affect emergency response times?

Studies have shown that certain traffic calming measures, especially vertical measures such as speed humps and raised crosswalks, can slow fire trucks and other emergency vehicles by about eight to 10 seconds each.

Staff always inform residents requesting traffic calming measures of their impacts on emergency response times.

Do speed humps affect snow plowing?
Permanent speed humps and raised crosswalks are gradually sloped so that snow plow blades go over without damage to them or the pavement surface. However, drainage and storm sewer operation need to be considered at the very early stages of planning for a traffic calming device.
Do traffic calming measures affect property values?
There is no evidence to suggest that traffic calming measures either raise or lower residential property values.

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