Dangerous drivers speeding on residential streets may soon be slowed by city hall.

In a new report, city engineers recommend dropping speed limits in neighbourhoods to 40 km/h.

Cars racing along residential streets are the most common issue raised by constituents, according to Councillor Shawn Lewis.

“I would call it an epidemic of people speeding through residential neighbourhoods, speeding through school zones, it’s a real serious issue.”

Doug MacRae, London’s director of roads and transportation, points to research that even a small decrease in speed reduces the severity of injuries during an accident.

A 40km/h speed limit would also give drivers significantly more reaction time.

He adds that residential streets are not intended to be shortcuts, “They tend to be areas where children play and people gather, so travel times through those neighbourhoods is not as critical as some of the other roles they serve.”

Neighbourhoods would have to be declared ‘safety zones’ by city hall to qualify for the lower speed limit.

Updating speed limit signs across the city would cost $400,000.

Staff recommend discussing the change with advisory committees and members of the public later this year before considering the change.

Lewis is already convinced, “Other than our other major collectors and arterial roads I think it should be 40 flat across the city.”

Enforcement would be key to lowering the speed limit.

London is currently part of a provincial group examining photo radar for speed enforcement in school and safety zones.

The program could start rolling out in cities by the end of this year.

MacRae says, ”Automated speed enforcement is a new tool available in the province for certain applications and we feel it could support this initiative.”

Next week the Civic Works Committee will consider starting a public input process into lower speed limits