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.
– MTO inspector Travis McMunn shows the device that’s used to read a truck’s speed limiter setting.
– The device plugs into a slot underneath the dash and instantly displays the settings on the officer’s laptop computer.
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