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OOIDA: Speed-limiter fight not over ‘by a long shot’

By David Tanner
staff writer

 

The fight against government-mandated speed limiters is far from over in Canada and the U.S., according to OOIDA.

Speaking to Land Line Now on Sirius XM, OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig said the Association continues to challenge mandates brought forth in Ontario and Quebec while working to stop the issue from progressing in U.S. regulatory circles.

“The battle to try to get this overturned in Ontario and Quebec is certainly not over by a long shot,” Craig said.

Laws in Ontario and Quebec require heavy commercial vehicles to have a working speed limiter set no higher than 65 mph, or 105 kilometers per hour. Using hand-held devices to plug in to data ports, law enforcement began handing out fines July 1 ranging from $250 to $20,000 (Canadian) in Ontario and $350 to $1,050 in Quebec.

OOIDA member Scott Mooney of Cambridge, Ontario, received a $390 fine on the first day. He pleaded not guilty and, as of press time, was scheduled to appear Sept. 30 in provincial court in Napanee. Representing him is Toronto law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson.

 “We believe the new law makes it more difficult for independent owner-operators to compete fairly and safely across international and provincial borders,” attorney Marshall Reinhart told Land Line.

“We also agree with OOIDA that the law is more onerous on U.S.-based companies and Canadian trucking companies based outside of Ontario by restricting their ability to operate freely throughout Canada. In terms of safety on the highways of Ontario, everyone should be concerned about the lack of passing speed for trucks, increased highway congestion and the greater likelihood of rear-ending.”

OOIDA and the Canadian owner-operator group OBAC say that slowing down trucks will create dangerous conditions among vehicle classes and is not a silver bullet to cut greenhouse gas emissions as the government has claimed.

OOIDA hopes the push for speed limiters does not lead to a chain reaction that spills over into the U.S.

“You can’t just let this thing lie because, certainly, if nobody squawks about it then there will be another province,” Craig said. “New Brunswick is one that’s considering it right now.” LL

 

david_tanner@landlinemag.com