At least 16.7% of unobstructed, non-trucks travelling in the fast lane on Highway 401 at Graham Road were travelling over 130 km/h. This observation was made as part of a preliminary analysis of a two hour videotaping session designed to explore the effects of the Covid-19 shut down on traffic in Southern Ontario.
On April 20, 2020 Gorski Consulting conducted a two-hour videotaping session of westbound traffic on Highway 401 at Graham Road near West Lorne, Ontario. This site is located approximately halfway between the cities of London and Chatham in the southwestern portion of the Canadian province of Ontario. Multiple video cameras were used to document the volume of traffic, its speed, and special conditions that might relate to the cause of collisions on the highway.
The study also showed that 72.9% of unobstructed, non-trucks travelling in the fast lane of Highway 401 were travelling at a speed equal to or greater than 120 km/h.
It is also noteworthy that, while travelling west on Highway 401 to conduct the testing, it was observed that the OPP had set up radar, speed monitoring at the Union Road overpass which is about 26 kilometres east of the Graham Road site. Our estimate is that, the time to travel to the Graham Road site, along with the set-up for the videotaping session would have involved a delay of about 1 hour. While we cannot say how long the OPP conducted their speed monitoring, it is possible that some, or all, of the vehicles passing through our video session may have also passed through the OPP speed monitoring. At an average speed of 115 km/h it would take about 13.5 minutes to travel the 26 kilometres between the OPP set up and our own. Thus the speed results we documented may have involved drivers who had just passed a police radar trap less than 14 minutes earlier.
Analysis is now underway to document the traffic volumes from the April 20, 2020 session. This will then be compared to a similar videotaping session conducted at this location on November 4, 2018. It will also be possible to combine these data with other sessions and locations previously discussed in earlier articles on the Gorski Consulting website.