SPECIAL REPORT: OOIDA to talk speed limiters with Canadian officials

| 8/8/2008

Officials from OOIDA’s Washington, DC, office are traveling to Canada to speak with provincial and federal officials on the topic of speed limiters.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and its membership of small-business truckers in the U.S. and Canada strongly oppose government-mandated speed limiters as approved by lawmakers in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

OOIDA Government Affairs Director Rod Nofziger and Government Affairs Counsel Laura O’Neill are scheduled to travel to Ottawa to meet with Canadian officials from Sunday, Aug. 10, through Tuesday, Aug. 12.

“This is going to be the first time that we in the DC office have met with the federal government (in Canada),” O’Neill told Land Line Now on XM Satellite Radio.

O’Neill said it’s important to educate lawmakers and regulators and to continue pressing the issue before speed limiters are mandated in more areas.

“This legislation is like an open wound. We are traveling to meet with the federal government of Canada to see if we can patch up this wound or at least make sure it doesn’t get infected and spread to the rest of Canada,” she told Land Line Magazine.

Regulators in Ontario are in the midst of a public comment period for Bill 41, legislation that passed in mid-June to make speed limiters mandatory on all heavy trucks doing business in Ontario regardless of domicile. Back in January, lawmakers in Quebec passed a law with a similar intent for that province.

OOIDA is currently preparing official comments to file with the Regulatory Registry of Ontario before the registry’s 45-day public comment period ends Aug. 31.

The Regulatory Registry is responsible for regulations that accompany legislation that has small business as a stakeholder. In Ontario, the law is Bill 41, which is designed to cap the top road speed of trucks at 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph.

Bill 41 provisions could be implemented as soon as the fall of this year, officials said. Implementation would begin with an educational period lasting six months to a year, followed by full enforcement.

“We’re doing everything that we can to fight it. We need our people to continue to make their voices heard on this issue,” O’Neill said.

OOIDA’s fight also includes the Association’s stated intention to fight the regulation on legal grounds that Bill 41 violates Canadian and North American trade laws.
Click here to view the Regulatory Registry site for Bill 41. At the bottom of the page, the registry lists e-mail and mail addresses for sending comments. The address for mailed comments is:

Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch
3rd Floor, 301 St. Paul Street
St. Catherines, Ontario
Canada L2R 7R4

Be sure to reference “speed limiters” and the proposal number 08-MTO003.

– By David Tanner, staff writer