Ontario speed limiter protest set for March 2

| 2/13/2009

An Ontario trucker who has planned a peaceful protest of the government’s speed-limiter regulations says there are now three convoys planned for the March 2 event.

Scott Mooney, an OOIDA member from Cambridge, Ontario, will lead a convoy from his home area to Queen’s Park in Toronto, site of the provincial government headquarters.

Other convoys are being planned to depart from the cities of London and Bowmanville so a wider spectrum of truckers can participate.
The Ontario regulation, similar to one passed in neighboring Quebec, requires all heavy trucks manufactured since 1995 and weighing more than 26,000 pounds to be electronically speed-limited at a maximum of 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph.

The U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada oppose the regulations, saying speed limiters set below the flow of traffic on the major highways will make the highways less safe.

Owner-operators in Canada and the U.S. say the law limits competition and is a potential violation of provincial and cross-border trade laws. They are also worried about shouldering the cost of setting their speed limiters and making other costly adjustments to their trucks.

Mooney’s site on Facebook.com has more than 600 people showing interest in the protest event. Click here to view the site. Another Facebook group, Help Truckers Fight Ontario Bill 41, has more than 150 members.

The Ontario government’s Bill 41 mandating speed limiter settings passed in June 2008. Officials began enforcing the accompanying regulations on Jan. 1 of this year, starting with a six-month educational period that will end approximately on Canada Day, July 1.

– By David Tanner, staff writer