Ontario trucker gave it his best shot against speed limiters

By David Tanner, associate editor

After spending thousands of dollars challenging a $390 ticket, trucker Lee Ingratta says he’s done fighting the province of Ontario over speed limiters.

“I like to say I gave it my best shot,” the OOIDA member said from his Gravenhurst shop.

A judge ruled in early September that Ingratta was in violation for “refusing” to allow a computer inspection of his speed setting during a routine scale house stop in 2009. The law requires trucks to be limited to a maximum of 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph.

Ingratta maintains that he did not refuse the inspection but merely asked the inspector to sign a waiver to accept possible damages to the truck’s computer system caused by the hookup.

The former computer shop owner turned trucker says he had a valid reason for carrying the waiver. He truly believes the devices used by inspectors can mess up a truck’s computer and that the damage may not be found until months later.

“I have a 2001 Peterbilt,” he said. “I wanted these guys to sign a piece of paper accepting any damages.”

In the end, not even a mechanic from Cummins who testified on Ingratta’s behalf could sway the judge, even after saying he’d repaired two trucks damaged by Ontario inspectors.

Ingratta said the whole process exhausted him, and the case drained $28,000 of his finances.

As a small matter of consolation, the judge asked provincial prosecutors if they would waive Ingratta’s initial $390 fine for violating the speed-limiter law. And they agreed.

A separate case – a constitutional challenge of the Ontario law itself, filed by OOIDA Member Gene Michaud – is ongoing. Michaud is facing an appeal by the province after a lower court ruled the law was unconstitutional because it put Michaud and others at risk on roadways in which the flow of traffic exceeded 65 mph. LL