TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is equipping its vehicles with radar, to help officers better enforce the province’s speed limiter legislation, Trucknews.com has learned.
Officers will also be able to enforce moving violations committed by commercial vehicle operators, once the radar systems have been installed and officers are trained on its use.
Ontario and Quebec require nearly all heavy trucks operating in the provinces to have a functioning speed limiter that limits the vehicle’s speed to 105 km/h. Until now, the MTO has had to connect an electronic reader to the engine’s ECU to determine whether or not the speed limiter was activated.
However, once MTO cars are equipped with radar, they’ll be able to clock commercial vehicles and fine any driver travelling over 115 km/h for violating the province’s speed limiter law.
“MTO is considering utilizing radar units to assist officers in the enforcement of Sec. 68.1 of the Highway Traffic Act, which requires many commercial vehicles to have a functioning speed limiting system,” MTO spokesman Ajay Woozageer confirmed to Trucknews.com today. “Subsection 9 of that section provides an evidentiary presumption provision that deems a vehicle travelling at a speed greater than 115 km/h to not have a functioning system. The units would be used to provide evidence for officers to use this deeming provision.”
Equipping MTO enforcement officers with radar will also allow them to better enforce moving violations, Woozageer confirmed.
“Ministry of Transportation officers are appointed as officers for carrying out the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act,” Woozageer said. “Despite having the authority to do so, Ministry officers did not enforce many sections of the Act pertaining to ‘rules of the road.’ Officers will receive training on these rules of the road sections in the future and will start enforcing these driving rules in the future.”
Woozageer said MTO enforcement officers will continue to focus their attention on commercial vehicle operators only.
“We will continue to rely on our police partners to enforce the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act on passenger vehicles,” he said.
The Ministry hasn’t yet determined when radar will be added to enforcement officers’ arsenals, but officers will receive training on the systems in the new year.
“It is anticipated training for MTO officers will begin early in 2014,” said Woozageer. “Once officers receive the training, they will commence enforcement.”
Asked of there’ll be a grace period for unsuspecting truckers, Woozageer said not likely.
“This does not involve any new legislation; drivers of all motor vehicles are expected to comply with the laws pertaining to operating that vehicle safely on Ontario highways,” he said. “Officers observing a violation will take appropriate action which may include inspecting the vehicle and laying a charge.”