Truckers to protest speed limiters in Ontario

| 12/8/2008

Small-business truckers in Ontario don’t plan on taking a government mandate for speed limiters lying down. A protest in the works is to take place Dec. 19.

Owner-operator Scott Mooney of Cambridge, Ontario, is organizing the protest to produce more dialogue with government officials about what such a mandate will do to interprovincial and cross-border trucking.

“They railroaded this law through the government,” Mooney told Land Line.

Elected officials in Ontario introduced, debated and passed the speed-limiter law during the period of March through June of this year. Government officials then announced that the regulations are to take effect Jan. 1, 2009.

Mooney has started a petition to submit to the government, but is disappointed that only Ontario residents can sign it.

“It’s a grassroots thing,” he said. “People who vote are the ones who make the difference.”

His intention is not to have government officials rescind the law – a difficult undertaking once a provincial law is enacted. Instead, he wants the government to back off its maximum speed requirement of 105 km/h, or 65 mph.

“I think they should set the limit at a speed where it’s not infringing on truckers going with the flow of traffic,” he said.

He said the average speed on Highway 401 east of Toronto is 112 km/h, or 70 mph.

Mooney said he has set his cruise at 105 km/h for the past month, saying that one would be “amazed” and frightened at the way people drive around trucks traveling slower than the flow of traffic.

He is suggesting that the government raise the mandated top speed to 120 km/h or about 75 mph.

Mooney hopes truckers will rally at 11 a.m., Dec. 19, at Queen’s Park in Toronto to present their viewpoints. He is hoping for a one-on-one with lawmakers if possible.

“It’s important to get this in before Jan. 1 while Parliament is still in session,” he said.

Mooney plans for truckers to begin assembling at 9 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Fuel Centre, 2492 Cedar Creek Road, in Ayr, Ontario, near Cambridge. The fuel stop is located at Exit 268 on the south side of Highway 401.

Truckers who may be traveling from out of the area aren’t obligated to make a special stop in Ayr before proceeding to Toronto.

“The whole plan is to be at Queen’s Park at 11 a.m.,” he said.

Mooney is encouraging truckers who cannot attend to contact their elected officials. He said several U.S.-based truckers have contacted him about attending.

– By David Tanner, staff writer