Happy Canada Day, here’s a $390 fine

| Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ontario trucker Scott Mooney received a “Happy Canada Day” on Wednesday, July 1, as well as a $390 ticket for violating the province’s new speed-limiter law for heavy trucks.

Mooney, an OOIDA member from Cambridge, Ontario, had just dropped a load for his weekly run near Perth southwest of Ottawa when an officer flagged him down near a truck stop.

Mooney was not speeding, so the thought crossed his mind that he was being targeted because he was the one who organized a pair of protest events leading up to the July 1 enforcement date for speed limiters.

“I actually thought that, but I think he was just sitting there,” Mooney told Land Line. “I saw him flagging another trucker down right behind me.”

The law in Ontario and neighboring Quebec requires trucks 1995 and newer grossing 26,000 pounds or more to have a computerized speed setting at or below 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph.

Mooney explained how the officer checked the speed setting.

“He had this small little tool that fit in the palm of his hand and plugged it into the port. He just said ‘I’m going to check your speed limiter setting,’ and he did it.”

Mooney is quick to point out that he doesn’t believe that police officers themselves are out to get truckers.

“They’ve been sent out – directed by the province – to stop trucks starting today and start checking,” he said.

Mooney’s fine, $310 plus court costs and a surcharge, was consistent with what a provincial official confirmed earlier this week was the standard roadside fine for a speed-limiter violation. The law lists the fine range between $250 and $20,000.

“Right away, I’m going to put it in to fight it in court,” Mooney said. “It’s a slap in the face on Canada Day.”

OOIDA and truckers like Mooney say the law is not about speed and will continue to oppose the regulation.

The Ontario Trucking Association, which represents select large fleets that voluntarily use speed limiters, lobbied for a government mandate to level the competitive playing field with truckers who don’t use limiters.

– By David Tanner, staff writer
david_tanner@landlinemag.com

Recent related LL articles:
Canadian truckers: ‘no added benefit’ from speed limiters
ON THE SCENE: Ontario truckers push back on government, big business
‘Speed limiter’ fines begin July 1 in Ontario, Quebec

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