Trucker petition filed against Ontario speed limiters

| Thursday, March 12, 2009

A provincial lawmaker in Ontario who sides with small-business truckers on the issue of speed limiters has delivered the first 200 signatures of a petition to the Ontario Legislature.

Member of Provincial Parliament John O’Toole, a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, delivered the signatures Monday, March 9, that were gathered by trucker Scott Mooney, an OOIDA member from Cambridge, Ontario.

Mooney said he is pleased that the petition is now part of the official record.

“It’s gotten people to stop and take another look,” Mooney told Land Line.

“It shows that there are still ongoing concerns even within the political circle about this law and the problems it will create.”

Petitioners believe the regulation’s requirement to cap road speeds of heavy trucks at a maximum of 105 kilometers per hour, or approximately 65 mph, “creates a dangerous situation on our 400-series highways with consideration to the average speed of traffic flow being 120 km/h.”

Studies show that vehicle interactions are more frequent and more severe when a differential in highway speed exists.

The U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and Canadian-based Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada continue to fight speed-limiter legislation in Ontario and neighboring Quebec.

OOIDA and OBAC commend people like Mooney, a member of both associations, for his grassroots effort.

Mooney continues to gather signatures in places he stops between his hometown of Cambridge and places he delivers to in Quebec.

“I’m urging people to continue getting signatures and sending them to their local member of provincial parliament or to John O’Toole himself,” Mooney said.

The petition states as follows:

“Whereas the recently passed Bill 41 with regard to speed limiters on every truck was passed without considering the effects on traffic flow safety concerns and interstate trucking; and Whereas the speed of 105 kilometres per hour creates a dangerous situation on our 400-series highways with consideration to the average speed of traffic flow being 120 kilometres per hour;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“That the Legislature suspend the enforcement of the speed limiter law until the Legislature can review all studies conducted pertaining to the effect of this law on road safety; and

“That the Ontario speed limiter law be amended from 105 kilometres per hour to 120 kilometres per hour to remove the increased risk of collisions on our highways and to prevent infringement on interstate trucking out of province and out of country.

A printable version of the petition is available online. Click here to take a look.

Mooney recently filed a complaint about mandatory speed limiters with Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin.

That ombudsman’s office oversees citizen concerns with government offices or actions. Click here to view the ombudsman’s Web site in Ontario, and here to learn more about filing a complaint.

– By David Tanner, staff writer