By Laura C. O'Neill
OOIDA government affairs counsel
Since OOIDA first became aware of efforts to mandate speed limiters we have witnessed limiter proponents adopt positions, contradict those positions, and manipulate research all in the name of passing this into law at any cost.
We at OOIDA have consistently said that proponents of government-mandated speed limiters are trying to address the so-called “driver shortage,” pave the way for bigger trucks, and simply eliminate competition. Throughout the war of words, OOIDA’s message that speed limiters are actually unsafe and will not provide great environmental benefits has remained consistent. To OOIDA, this consistency is important.
Recently, David Bradley, who is president of the Ontario Trucking Association, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Association and a speed limiter enthusiast, made the statement that he knows of no cases where slow-moving trucks have been rear-ended by cars. Surely, Bradley is aware of the fact that in the U.S., 17 percent of all truck wrecks with injuries involved a car rear-ending the truck.
On the U.S. side of the border, Bill Graves, who is a former governor of Kansas, ATA president and small-business trucking foe, called for the U.S. to mandate speed limiters – set at 68 mph – while calling for a federal speed limit of 65 mph. Isn’t that sort of contradictory?
I think it is clear that the ATA is simply trying to help their sister organization to the north and isn’t concerned with how that ties into their own message in the states.
One thing is certain, hiding corporate agendas behind the guise of safety and the environment will burn bridges faster than a ’68 Shelby on a nitrous booster, and that is not in anyone’s interest.
We at OOIDA could easily misrepresent information in the name of advancing our position, but our name wouldn’t be worth much if we did. We oppose speed limiters because they are unsafe, unfair and unnecessary. This is the message we sent to elected officials and once they realize what a mess they have created, they will look for the straight shooters to sort it out. LL