04/18/2012 12:40 EDT | Updated 06/18/2012 05:12 EDT

Ontario rejects call to raise highway speed limits to 120 or 130 km/h

TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government is flatly rejecting calls to raise the speed limit on the province's 400-series highways.

The group stop100.ca wants the maximum speed on those highways increased to 120 or even 130 kilometres an hour, saying 100 km/h is one of the lowest speed limits in the world.

However, Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli says speed is a factor in 20 per cent of fatal car accidents in Ontario, so the province will not be increasing the highway speed limit.

He says the government "is not inclined in any way, shape or form to increase the speed limits on Ontario roads."

Chiarelli also rejects suggestions that everyone already drives 120 kilometres an hour on highways, and says police are kept busy issuing tickets to drivers caught going that fast.

He says Ontario has the safest roads in North America and intends to keep that record by maintaining the current speed limits.

Ontario used to have a highway speed limit of 70 miles per hour — or about 112 km/h — but it was lowered during the 1970s energy crisis.