Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht believes the province could afford to increase the speed limit on Anthony Henday Drive without impacting public safety.
“I think the speed limit on the Henday is wrong,” Knecht said. “I think it should be raised. I think we have the technology in vehicles, I think the state of that roadway – in the summertime in particular – probably 110 is not unreasonable.”
Knecht made the comments during his Coffee With the Chief media event on Monday morning. He got on the topic while discussing overall traffic safety in Edmonton. Knecht said increasing the speed limit from 100 kilometres an hour to 110 km/h might help reduce the number of tickets handed out by police, and keep the extreme speeders at bay.
“The weather’s getting better and it’s the same old, same old, every year. I feel like a broken record, but it’s the motorcycle on the Henday. And again, 170, 180, 190 km/h. How is that safe for the person driving the motorcycle, and how is that safe for the travelling public?”
“It’s got lots of off-ramps, it’s big, it’s well-built,” he said of the ring road. “I do think that roadway, probably you could bump the speed limit up to 110 and I don’t think it would have any impact on public safety at all… I think that might solve some of the problems.”
Knecht said Edmonton police, Alberta Sheriffs and Alberta RCMP “police the heck” out of the Anthony Henday, and doesn’t believe increasing the speed limit would do any harm.
“I do think there is a time and a place to reduce speed limits. I think this is a time and a place where we could actually increase speed limits,” he said.
“The only issue is, if you say it’s 110, they go 120. That’s the only issue.”
The roadway is under the jurisdiction of the province. A request for comment from Alberta Transportation was not returned by the time this story was published.
Knecht said he has not yet pitched the idea to the transportation minister.