Canadian truckers: ‘no added benefit’ from speed limiters

| 6/15/2009

Truckers who are now forced to have a working speed limiter set at 65 mph to do business in Ontario and Quebec are reporting increased diesel consumption and more road rage on the highways.

Truckers continued their fight against government-mandated speed limiters during a gathering this past Saturday, June 13, in Milton, Ontario, organized by trucker and OOIDA member Scott Mooney.

“We will keep trying and we’re not going to stop with this,” Mooney said. “The message is getting through. There are a lot of people listening.”

Approximately 50 truckers, families, media and area residents – including MPP Ted Chudleigh of Milton – held discussions about the safety hazards of speed differentials and the fact that fuel savings are just not there.

“When the speed limiters came in, our trucks went down about a half-mile per gallon, so if you’re doing that, you’re using more diesel, more diesel is getting into the air and you’re spending more money,” said Anita Hamilton of Simcoe, Ontario.

“There’s no added benefit to it,” said her husband, Ben, a long-time trucker.

OOIDA member Scott Walker of Aylmer, Ontario, is concerned about the government’s access to data from truck ECMs.

“It’s an invasion of my privacy and it’s just plain wrong to single out one group of individuals to sustain a tax base,” Walker said.

Speakers such as OOIDA Life Member Ed Wesselius of Guelph, Ontario, and OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig said the Ontario Trucking Association pushed for speed limiters to rein in competition especially from the U.S.

But as the Ontario government bought in to the idea of speed limiters, they didn’t count on the side effects.

“It has nothing to do with speed. It has nothing to do with safety. It has nothing to do with the environment,” Wesselius said.

“What this law has done is create a split speed between vehicles. As a driver I can’t tell you how many times where driving too slow will get the old bird at you.”

The province of Ontario begins full enforcement of the speed-limiter legislation on July 1.

– By David Tanner, staff writer