News Release Archive

The maximum speed limit on three designated sections of Nova
Scotia's 100 series highway is being increased to 110 kilometres
per hour, the minister of transportation and public works
announced today.

"Motorists have long been asking for the 110 posting on these
faster divided highways," said Don Downe. "This change means,
once the Cobequid Pass opens, we'll have express travel from
Amherst to New Glasgow on Highway 104, and Truro to Miller Lake
on Highway 102. It is good for business, commuters and visitors."

The new speed zone limits are effective Monday, June 23, only
where new 110 km/h signs indicate. The sections of highway are:

- Highway 102 from Highway 118 at Miller Lake to Exit 13A at

- Highway 104 from the Victoria Street Interchange at Amherst to
  Thomson Station.

- Highway 104 from Masstown to Salt Springs.

These sections are within the criteria established for the faster
speeds: four lanes, wide median, supporting geometric design
standards, and low accident rates.

RCMP Supt. S. A. Duncan said officers in each area were canvassed
about the change and have no objection.

"The median speed along these stretches is in the 110 range, and
the safest flow of speed is an even flow of traffic," said Supt.

Tom Haney, executive director of the Nova Scotia Safety Council,
said: "Under controlled circumstances, such as a twinned highway
engineered to handle a higher speed, the raising of the speed
limit to 110 km/h poses no significant risk to the public."


Contact: Laura Lee Langley
         Transportation and Public Works



Speed zone limits are increasing to 110 km/h on three sections of
100 series highway in Nova Scotia. Effective Monday, June 23,
1997, as posted signs indicate, the speed limits will increase as

- Highway 102 from Highway 118 at Miller Lake to Exit 13A at

- Highway 104 from the Victoria Street Interchange at Amherst to
  Thomson Station

- Highway 104 from Masstown to Salt Springs

The change will essentially allow express travel from Halifax to
Truro, and Amherst to New Glasgow once the western alignment
opens in December.


There is specific criteria to consider when recommending a
section of highway for the increased speed zone limit. In Nova
Scotia, 100 series sections may be recommended for speed limit

- in four-lane, wide-median sections

- in sections over 10 kilometres in length

- where the geometric design supports the 110 km/h speed

- in sections must have a better than average accident rate.

Sections with sharp, low speed turns, narrow or concrete medians
do not meet the standard for the higher speed.

Before speed limits are changed in Nova Scotia, a speed sample is
collected, monitoring free flowing traffic for the average travel
speed. On each of these recommended sections, samples show that
85 per cent of free-flowing traffic is travelling at or near the
110 km/h mark.


Motorists are asked to note the increased speed limit is legal in
posted areas only. A reminder that posted limits in Nova Scotia
are absolute. There is no level of tolerance for travelling above
the posted speeds. The 110 km/h limit is only legal when posted.


Safety is the fundamental indicator in setting any speed zone
limit in Nova Scotia. It is our obligation to set limits ensuring
the optimum safety of drivers and their passengers. 

The 110 km/h limit is reserved for our best and safest sections
of highway. The 100 km/h limit is the maximum posted on most
other sections of 100 series controlled-access highway, including
the four-lane sections with a narrow or concrete median, sections
that are less than 10 kilometres, or sections where design does
not support an increased speed limit.

As motorists approach urban areas, speed limits are reduced to
below 100 km/h. Speed limits on secondary roads in the province
are also lower than 100 km/h and typically set the upper zone at
80 km/h to a low zone of 50 km/h (except for special
circumstances, including sharp turns).


Before Nova Scotia converted to the metric system in the 1970s,
our highest speed zone was 65 mph, roughly 105 km/h. In fact, at
that time, traffic advisers in Nova Scotia recommended the upper
zone limit supported by traffic flow on 100 series highways be
110 km/h. But as history will tell you, the world's energy crisis
at that time was a concern. 

Today, vehicle designs are more environmentally friendly; our
fuel mixtures have environmental considerations built in, and our
median traffic speed samples tell us that motorists on these
sections of highway are already travelling at the 110 km/h speed.
The higher speed zones have been in place in other jurisdictions,
with great success, for some time. Some States have been using a
faster maximum speed for more than a decade, and in Canada,
several provinces, including New Brunswick, have safely and
successfully implemented a 110 km/h speed zone maximum on many of
their major highways.


Express travel, particularly on our major routes of travel has a
major impact on the economy. Highway 104 (Trans-Canada Highway)
is the only trucking route into Nova Scotia and Highway 102 is
the main thoroughfare into Atlantic Canada's largest business
centre, Halifax. Offering express travel on these routes makes it
easier to move people and goods in and out of our province. It is
attractive to major shippers to have access to routes with
expressway speeds. It ensures quick movement on top-notch
highways, with a connection to major shipping lanes out of the
port of Halifax.

Faster travel is also attractive to tourists moving in and out of
Nova Scotia, offering quicker movement and convenient connections
to tourist attractions and the more rural settings for which Nova
Scotia is known around the world.


Contact: Chris Welner
         Director, Public Affairs & Communications
         Department of Transportation and Public Works
         1969 Upper Water Street
         Purdy's Wharf Tower II
         P.O. Box 186
         Halifax, N.S.
         B3J 2N2



trp                       June 17, 1997 - 12:10 p.m.