OOIDA in Canada: The topic is speed limiters

| 4/6/2009

OOIDA representatives are meeting this week with provincial and federal lawmakers in Canada to drive home a point that mandatory speed limiters have negative consequences for trade and highway safety.

Armed with information and comments from truckers, Government Affairs Director Rod Nofziger and Government Affairs Counsel Laura O’Neill of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association met with Ontario lawmakers and government officials on Monday, April 6, in the provincial capital of Toronto.

O’Neill reported that meetings went well with Linda Jeffrey, parliamentary assistant to the minister of transportation, and Member of Provincial Parliament Frank Klees.

More meetings were scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, including a chance to speak with federal lawmakers based in Ottawa.

Joining Nofziger and O’Neill during the first day of meetings was OOIDA member Dorothy Sanderson, of Cannington, Ontario.

“We’re progressing much better,” Sanderson said. “We had a meeting this morning with a member of the Liberal Party (Linda Jeffrey). She was open to discussing this and took time to talk to me. I presented her with a paper about what has been going on.

“I showed them a bill from my truck that says when you mess with the computer, they break down.”

Since Jan. 1, the provincial Liberal Party government has required that all heavy trucks doing business in the province – including U.S. trucks – be equipped with a working speed limiter activated at no higher than 105 kilometers per hour, or about 65 mph. A similar law exists in Quebec.

The OOIDA delegation said truckers are concerned about privacy, competition and highway safety, saying that the safest speed on the highway is a uniform speed among vehicle classes.

Fines related to the laws in Ontario and Quebec won’t begin until July, but OOIDA leadership is hopeful that the Liberal Party will take time to discuss the issue with more truck drivers instead of relying on the rhetoric from large motor carriers represented by the Ontario Trucking Association.

– By David Tanner, staff writer