CFMS offers sneak peak at speed limiter enforcement tactics

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation was on-hand at this year’s Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminars to offer some insight on how trucks will be inspected for compliance with Ontario’s new speed limiter law. The law has been on the books since January, but full enforcement doesn’t kick in til July 1.
MTO inspector Travis McMunn was performing demonstrations at the outside truck display. All that’s required is a laptop computer with a wireless plug-in device that’s inserted into a slot underneath the truck’s dash. It accesses and displays on the computer a few lines of information, most importantly the speed limiter setting.
The device doesn’t have the ability to read additional information such as historical data or alter any settings, McMunn explained as he demonstrated an inspection. Within seconds of plugging in the device, the laptop computer displays the speed limiter’s parameters – or whether it’s inactive.
McMunn says he typically starts the program on his laptop in the morning, minimizes and lets it run all day so it takes little time to inspect a vehicle for compliance. It only takes a few seconds to plug into the truck’s engine and view the speed limiter settings. McMunn said the tool enforcement officers have been supplied with work with all the various engine makes.
Because it takes so little time to view a truck’s speed limiter setting, McMunn said it’s likely officers will check every truck they inspect – but that’ll be up to their own discretion. He said compliance was initially very low at the beginning of the enforcement period earlier this year, but there’s been a noticeable increase in compliance as word has spread.
Truckers that are not in compliance will receive a fine, but they will not be placed out of service and their carrier’s CVOR will not be affected. There’s a provision in the law that allows police officers to assume a truck does not have its speed limiter activated if it’s caught travelling faster than 115 km/h.
The topic of speed limiters came up during the CFMS Shop Talk session and it appears the issue is just as divisive as always. One attendee said he felt better police enforcement of existing speed laws was the way to go, but another delegate piped up and declared Bill 41 the “best piece of legislation” ever introduced in Ontario.
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– MTO inspector Travis McMunn shows the device that’s used to read a truck’s speed limiter setting.
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– The device plugs into a slot underneath the dash and instantly displays the settings on the officer’s laptop computer.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • I do know that this new law does not sit very well with a lot a truck drivers. However, if they think that it is bad here, I beleive that in the UK an officer can plug into your vehicle, while you sleep at a truck stop, and retreive your Hours of Service. So this may just be the beginning…

  • We instructed the dealership where we purchased our trucks to set them to 105 kph as reguired. We had a truck pulled into scales and checked and were told we were not in compliance because we were set at 106. Just another way to nitpick at truckers who are following the laws and operating safely.

  • I do not mind having to slow down to 105 as lang the cars have to slow down as well.Lets have an equeal playing field.
    Paul Korn


  • Karen, Yes you can remove the speed limiter parameters once you’re outside Ontario and Quebec. According to an informatioin card I received from the MTO: “Ontario’s proposal is for a speed limiter that can be shut off when leaving the province to allow flexibility for carriers traveling to jurisdictions where the speed limit is higher.”

  • I think that Karen should be the next PM or at least the Minister of Transportation. I will back her up 100%

  • The speed limiter is not doing what it is intended to do, rather it is having a serious negative affect on the independent truckers from all across North America. In theory, the speed limiter “may” have come from a good idea. In reality, not all trucks are spec’d out the same way. Thus, the speed limiter being placed on a truck that is spec’d out to run best at 100km/h, the 105 km/h limiter will have little negative effect financially. It will also restrict that truck from going over its optimal operating parameters.
    Now when you put that 105 km/h speed limiter on a truck that the manufacturers spec’d out to operate most efficiently from 110 to 116 km/h, which is the overall average of the speed limits throughout North America, you have a drastic negative effect. By doing this to the latter group, you are essentially causing every one of these trucks to run less efficient by burning more fuel to do the same mileage. My own experience has found that my 2000 Volvo, with a Detroit Series 60 engine, is burning an average of 70 litres more fuel, per week, to go the same distance as before operating below the 105 cap.
    You can not tell me that the people at the top of these special interest groups who are pushing for limiters on all trucks, that they didn’t know this would be the end result. If that were the case, then why would they have been specially ordering their trucks for the past couple years to be spec’d to run optimum at 105? I believe they are well aware of the financial negative effect the limiters would have on their competition.
    The speed limiters were not to make our roads safer, not for the environment, which can be easily explained from any truck service technician, but rather to create a financial hardship on the small fleet operators and the independant owner operators.
    If the speed limiter was for safety, then put the speed limiter in charge of the Ontario and Quebec Court Judges. For those who routinely are caught speeding exessively, the court can impose a provincial restriction on the individuals drivers licence for a speed limiter to be required. This would make the speed limiter about safety. As far as the environment, making a truck able to run at its optimum preformance will make that truck more environmentally friendly. Creating lanes or allowing trucks to use the existing HOV lanes would be environmentally friendly. The less times a truck has to slow, stop or accelerate through heavy traffic, as is with any vehicle, would be environmentally friendly. For safety, having a “trucks only” lane would reduce the number of truck/car accidents in our metro areas. Come on Ontario, lets start getting smart about what we are doing. Sometimes our government officials need to remember that the best course of action, is no action.

  • James, I’m sorry to report, your responce to Karen is incorrect. I have a copy of the same pamphlet that the MTO was passing out, indicating that the speed limiter could be turned off when crossing the boarder. I brought this up at a meeting I had at Queen’s Park in March. Their responce was that they would make sure that those pamphlets would stop being distributed by the MTO. Too late… They already did the dammage. They got you believing it and reporting it. Again, mis information being past on to you and the public. The best thing that could come out of this would be for a media report to clarify the mis-information that was provided by the MTO.
    The ECM can only be changed by taking it to your dealer and having it re-programmed. You’re looking at $150 each time to make those changes. Now some have said some of the larger companies that have their own computers can change settings by satelite link. Now that would be thousands of dollars for investment for each and every independant trucker out there. Not feasable or realistic.
    I’ll watch for the artice…

  • Hi Scott, I’ll seek clarification from the Ministry (it wouldn’t be the first time enforcement policy has changed ie. CVOR points being/now not being assigned), however they were still distributing this information as recently as four weeks ago. I will report the MTO’s response.

  • A little vague…but MTO seems to be standing by that line:
    1.- Does the above sentence still apply?
    2.- Can a truck driver ‘shut off’ the speed limiter setting when they leave the province?
    Ontario has no intention of mandating speed limiters outside of our jurisdiction.

  • you talk about slowing trucks down for safty. greyhound has the same drive line a truck has but they hall people, they do 75 mph. but i guess thats considered safe. it depends on who is whereing the shoe they want ot punish. cars get to fly low and they are a big cause of the truck accidents on the road because they dont care. people on cars complain and they get action. because they have the votes for politicians. truck drivers complain we get punished. everytime something happens or an accident, you slow the trucks down more. the people in cars have more accidents, you make them faster. you keep adding for garbage to distract them and keep coming up with more cell phone garbage for them to do and every thing is go go go and fast pase for them and you do every thing to cater to them because they have all the votes for the politicans. you need to slow the cars down too. i am a long haul driver of many years! it doesnt matter how much you advertise saftey for them, they dont care. as soon as they get in there car all they car about is how they wont to drive. in the city especially 8 out 10 are on the cells or texting. they dont care because they think there this new breed that have this special ability to multitask that nobody can do but them. they cut people off hit there brakes in front of trucks and they dont care. all they care is if you hit me from the rear your at tired of bouncing to a stop, shifting the load on my trailer because of the people but you dont really care either. if you slowed the cars down then the people would get mad and the politicians would have to raise it back up because they have all the power! you keep wanting to punish the truckers more no matter how much we try to tell u that the shipping and recieving companys dont care about our saftey, all the care is they want there product there at the same 75 mph it takes to get it there, and it is up to the driver to have to suffer the log fines to get it there on time. and alot of the companys expect the driver to do it or they want have a job. of coarse they say something else when it goes to do every thing you can to set the traffic in town for the cars to keep flying and put the trucks in every situation to have to constantly slow down and most of the time having to panic brake to keep from hitting someone. that alone is one of the biggest hazards and fuel loses and time loses. but you can garenty the day that they fix it for the trucks to save time at the cost to the cars well be punished again for tying the cars and causing them to take longer to get where they to go, but they want all the products that they have to be in the stores on time for there sales, but they keep doing every thing they can to keep it form getting there. Oh i forgot, they dont care, thats the way i have seen it for many years

  • First off, Dennis LEARN HOW TO SPELL
    Secondly I will be the first one to say that this law is complete BS caused by the owner of challenger motor freight dumping a piss pot full of money into a lobbyist for the OTA to take this to legislation so that he could level the playing field as his trucks were locked at 105 and was losing loads to companies that could do the 110 limits in other provinces.
    Third, I thought the OTA was supposed to SUPPORT us professional drivers? I can understand and agree that everyone including the drivers would like safer roads but in a way especially northen ontario this does the complete opposite, as I’m sure every driver has come across the assholes who play the passing lane “speed up” lane or the well let’s do 100k + when there’s a dotted yellow line and you legally pass but slow to 80-90 as soon as its solid or there traffic coming in the opposite direction and you can’t pass them, and if those drivers only go to a max of 100kph that gives you a 5kph overtake speed in which case it takes you way more time to pass as we have all had to deal with you need almost a mile to pass someone with a 5 k over take and unable to pass in the pasing lane due to hills or “speed up lane”. This causes frustration further apon road rage and makes the roads less safe. And what about the cars that can do whatever they want NONE of them will sit at 105 and in summer we all know they will pass regardless of safety or it being legal, again making the roads even more unsafe. It says that 23% of truck accidents come from speed but they don’t mention out of that 23% what’s the % that involves a car being a jackass like the examples listed above and you need to speed to get around them
    Fourth and final
    I spoke to a lawyer about this when it was coming out and for argument sake let’s say this is all a great idea, the MTO now has the ability to go into YOUR CPU which if you’re an o/o that is your cpu you are forced to comply with have MTO or OPP check for comploince or you get a fine. According to the privacy act if you own something a peace officer or government agent is not allowed to go into your personal “stuff” without a warrant or just cause and pulling into a scale isn’t either of those it is against the privacy act to be forced to comply with a “search” because esentially that is what it is weather looking for drughs to comply with the controled substance act or looking for a speed limiter for this act they do not have just cause or a warrant to search unless for example your caught going over that 105kph