Speed limiters: Non-compliance by O/Os may be costly for carriers
April 9, 2008
April 9, 2008
So here’s another twist to the speed limiter issue which may not have received due consideration when the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) was developing the proposal.
According to a Ministry of Transportation official, it’s likely that violations of the speed limiter law (once it comes to be), will go against a carrier’s CVOR rating.
“If the proposed legislation is passed, it is likely violations will count against a carrier’s CVOR rating,” I was recently told by an MTO official. (For the full story, see the May issues of Truck News and Truck West, available next week).
It’s no secret that the muscle behind the proposed legislation has been the OTA, which represents the Ontario carrier community. The real proponents of the proposal have been some of Ontario’s biggest carriers – in many cases, the best-run companies the trucking industry has to offer. Most of these carriers already employ speed control and have developed in-depth safety programs.
These carriers value their hard-earned CVOR ratings, and I would venture to guess that the carriers in favour of speed limiter legislation collectively boast some of the best CVOR ratings in the industry. But once the new law is adopted, they run the risk of seeing those CVOR ratings go down the toilet if their owner/operators refuse to play by the new rules.
I’m not by any means suggesting that owner/operators will set out to sabotage their employers’ CVOR ratings by refusing to comply with the rule, once it is passed. Not only would it be illegal and unethical, but it would also come at a huge personal cost, as O/Os would be slapped with fines as for non-compliance.
However, I do feel that many carriers may unwittingly incur damage to their valued CVOR rating once this rule becomes law, an unintended consequence of hoisting an unpopular new legislation on an unwelcoming driver pool. Despite the MTO’s promise of an educational enforcement period during which no fines will be levied against violators, I have a hunch there will be plenty of penalties doled out once the MTO cracks its whip. There will undoubtedly be a segment of the population that tries to tamper with the settings, and they will surely test the abilities (and patience) of some of Ontario’s finest inspection officers. In the process, some will get busted. And in the process, their employers’ CVORs will take a hit.
It will be interesting to see how carriers enforce the new law within their own operations. It’s simple enough to govern company equipment, but ensuring compliance amongst their owner/operators may prove more of a challenge. For owner/operators and carriers, the cost of non-compliance will be high. But one could argue that it’s the carriers that face the biggest risk – especially those with an unblemished CVOR rating at stake.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies