Canadian truckers urged to comment on speed limiters

| 7/25/2008

A Canadian owner-operator group is urging truckers to submit comments on the controversial issue of government-mandated speed limiters.

The Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada issued a Call to Action on Thursday, July 17, in response to an online posting by the Regulatory Registry of Ontario requesting public comments.

“It is urgent that you make your views known by responding to this request for comments,” OBAC Executive Director Joanne Ritchie stated in the call to members.

“Despite questions raised by the trucking industry and opposition MPPs, as well as serious issues with safety, trade, competitiveness, tampering, and enforcement revealed by several Transport Canada studies, the Ontario government is pushing ahead toward an implementation date as early as the fall of 2008.”

Click here to read OBAC’s Call to Action.

The Ontario Legislature approved Bill 41 in June, making speed limiters mandatory on all heavy trucks doing business in the province, regardless of where they are domiciled. The intent of the legislation is to limit the top road speed of trucks at a maximum of 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph.

The Regulatory Registry’s 45-day comment period began July 17 and is scheduled to end Aug. 31.

Click here to review the Regulatory Registry’s proposed regulations that are to accompany the implementation of Bill 41. The link includes access to an online comment form. Send written comments by mail or fax to:
            Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch
            3rd Floor, 301 St. Paul Street
            St. Catharines, Ontario
            Canada L2R 7R4
            Fax: 905-704-2750

People submitting comments should reference the words “speed limiters” and include proposal No. 08-MTO003.

The U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association continues to be a driving force behind the opposition to government-mandated speed limiters on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.

OOIDA officials have retained counsel in Canada to pursue possible legal challenges to Bill 41.

OOIDA and OBAC officials say Bill 41 puts truckers who do not currently set their speed limiters at or below the limit suggested in Ontario at a competitive disadvantage and violates the rules of interprovincial and North American border trade.

Ritchie plans on attending the Fergus Truck Show – which begins Thursday, July 24 and runs through the weekend in Fergus, Ontario – to distribute literature and to urge truckers to comment on the speed-limiter issue.

She said the time is also right for truckers in Ontario to contact their provincial lawmakers who are on summer break from the Legislature.

“Now is a good time when all the politicians are back in their riding (district), ‘reconnecting’ with their constituents, i.e. looking for votes,” Ritchie told Land Line.

– By David Tanner, staff writer