Equipment manufacturers support mandatory speed limiters

| 2/13/2006

The Ontario Trucking Association has recruited another supporter for government-mandated speed limiters on trucks operating in the Canadian province.

The Canadian Transportation Equipment Association, which represents truck and trailer manufacturers, distributors, dealers and service providers, has written an endorsement letter to OTA’s CEO David Bradley.

OTA’s membership, consisting of large motor carriers, has asked the Ontario government to review and act on a proposal to regulate truck speeds at a maximum of 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph.

OTA member carriers, many of which already use speed limiters voluntarily, are pushing for the government to control speed in the whole industry, including across Canada and eventually in all of North America.

The Ontario government is still reviewing the proposal and comments submitted during a public process in December 2005.

OTA’s proposal has garnered support from some agencies, but opponents believe speed limiters could actually make the highways less safe.

Opposition has come from the Owner-Operators’ Business Association of Canada and U.S.-based OOIDA. These associations have cited studies showing that speed differentials between cars and trucks cause more problems in already dangerous situations such as merging, passing and maneuvering on busy highways.

CTEA Executive Director Donald E. Moore wrote to OTA saying that he endorses mandatory speed limiters because of the environmental benefits of slowing down and burning less fuel. Neither OBAC nor OOIDA argue the point about fuel savings.

Moore’s letter goes further to explain CTEA’s support.

“The proposal put forward by the OTA addresses a key area of safety that would positively affect everyone in Ontario who travels the 400-series highways,” Moore wrote. “The environmental benefits actually can affect people throughout North America, particularly if other jurisdictions take up the challenge and adopt similar legislation.”

Some owner-operators have told Land Line they would stop delivering to Ontario if the province mandates speed limiters to be activated and set at 65 mph.

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario is still reviewing the proposal and the public feedback, according to a spokesman. MTO had originally planned to issue its report in late January.