‘Speed limiter’ fines begin July 1 in Ontario, Quebec

| 6/29/2009

Two Canadian provinces will begin handing out fines Wednesday, July 1, to truckers who do not have a speed limiter activated on their rigs.

Laws in Ontario and Quebec require that all trucks 1995 and newer grossing at least 26,000 pounds have a computerized speed limiter activated at or below the maximum of 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph. Yes, the law affects trucks from the rest of Canada and from the U.S. that travel in Ontario or Quebec.

The minimum fine according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is $250 for a truck found not to have a working speed limiter or if the “anti-tampering” provision has been violated. Maximum fines can reach $20,000.

An Ontario commercial enforcement official told Land Line on Friday, June 26, that officers will be writing roadside tickets for $310 but a surcharge and court costs will increase the total to $390.

Although implementation actually took effect Jan. 1 of this year, the provinces started with a six-month grace period to educate truckers and the public.

U.S.-based OOIDA and the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada continue to fight against the regulations, saying the issue has never been about speed but about the large carrier fleets cutting down competition in the affected provinces. If it were about speed, law enforcement would be directed to step up enforcement of current posted limits, the owner-operator groups said.

OOIDA and OBAC officials also cite highway safety concerns because traffic classes are now being forced to travel at different speeds on the major highways. OOIDA and OBAC also challenge the government’s claim that speed limiters save fuel and cut emissions.

In the U.S., large carrier fleets continue to lobby governments to implement similar speed-limiter regulations. OOIDA has led the effort to keep the movement at bay.

– By David Tanner, staff writer