Truck News


Is this what you wanted to hear about speed limiters?

Truckers beware! We have learned of a secret plot by nefarious Communists (or perhaps it’s dastardly Nazis) to take over the Ontario Legislature.
The plot, our undercover sources tell us, involves setting up the Ontario transport minister as Supreme Leader and outsourcing the running of the transport ministry to the province’s largest trucking association.
The first course of action by the new Communist leadership would be to mandate speed limiters. This would be the first step towards total domination of everything independent truckers hold dear.
The Communists of course know that installing speed limiters will destroy the Ontario economy. This is exactly what they want to happen because they plan to use the destroyed economy as an excuse to invade neighboring Quebec and Manitoba. The plan also calls on using the fleets of the province’s largest carriers, who were already familiar with speed limiters, to transport war materiel to the front, providing safe transportation and a new way to deal with slumping freight volumes all in one shot. (Commies can be clever, eh?)
Our sources also tell us that secret US operatives have caught wind of the plot and the plan to install speed limiters and are planning to contest it under international law.
However, the US will not be sending its customary international trade diplomats. Instead, the mission will be handled by representatives from OOIDA, due to their professed knowledge and expertise in such matters.
THERE! Isn’t that just what you wanted to hear?
With the exception of a few of my own embellishments, that’s the jist of many of the e-mails and phone calls I’ve been receiving of late about mandating speed limiters.
Come on folks, suggesting that Ontario is about to turn into a Communist society just because legislators are seriously considering mandating speed limiters is a tad over the top, ain’t it?
There are plenty of real issues to debate regarding speed limiters. Let’s not destroy the debate with ludicrous conspiracy theories.

Lou Smyrlis

Lou Smyrlis

With more than 25 years of experience reporting on transportation issues, Lou is one of the more recognizable personalities in the industry. An award-winning writer well known for his insightful writing and meticulous market analysis, he is a leading authority on industry trends and statistics.
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6 Comments » for Is this what you wanted to hear about speed limiters?
  1. Laura O'Neill says:

    Agreed Lou. OOIDA doesn’t need to foil the plots of communism or fascism driven by large corporations who seek to use their friendships, money and influence to eliminate competition in favor of oligopolistic practices. We don’t need to turn this into more of a philosophical debate about the role government plays in subsiding or otherwise assisting big businesses because (as the OTA has repeatedly said) this is about safety. Speed limiters make highways safer…although David Bradley cannot point to any studies supporting his claims and continuously demonstrates his severe lack of knowledge of the existing research by saying things like cars do not rear end trucks unless the drivers are “drunk out of their minds or have a death wish.” If David Bradley actually cared about safety, he would be reviewing existing research instead of relying on disingenuous statements and conjecture. Perhaps he should review studies like the one conducted by the DOT in the States that shows 17% of all fatal truck crashes involve a vehicle rear ending a truck.
    The OOIDA Foundation is among the leading experts in compiling, reviewing, and conducting research on matters impacting the trucking industry. OOIDA doesn’t need to unveil the dastardly political plots of the OTA, CTA, and the ATA because we have science to support our claims that this is a bad, bad, bad idea. We also have numbers to show that this will impact trade in addition to the experts who have stepped forward to testify that this will not provide any real environmental benefit. But in defense of all of the people making outlandish claims about the motives of the Government, I must say that when you look at the overwhelming evidence refuting the claims of the OTA and cannot find one good reason why the Government is supporting this measure, one’s mind does start to wonder…

  2. Ray Haight says:

    One thing is constant in this world and it the law of checks and balances and that law can guarantee that for every study with a negative result there will be an opposite study with a positive result. Nothing is overwhelming on either side of this argument with the exception of reduced carbon and reduced opporating cost for the Owner Operator or Trucking Company. I beleive these two items to be bullet proof as positives, the accidents?
    Hey Lou, have you looked for any studies that might have been done in Europe on speed limiters, if I am not mistaken then have been in play over there for years?
    P.S.The OOIDA Foundation is among the leading experts in compiling, reviewing, and conducting research on matters impacting the trucking industry—-Since when, this is news to all of us or maybe just me, a review of their web site references a number of research docs that I am sure are cherry picked to support their positions but you sure done see their name as author on any?

  3. Les Howlett says:

    Society has come up with systems to allow Drunk Drivers back on the road, by blowing into an analyzer before the vehicle starts, even after someone has been affected by the drunk driver. Why not bring in Regulations for all vehicles Big and Small. The first time you are caught speeding 20+ km/h over the speed limit. (we can all creep up 10km/h without notice)Your vehicle ECM will be locked in at 100 km/h maximum, being pro-active to something happening, instead of re-active to accidents and fatalities.
    The Negative of that is those speeders would then be doing 100km/h in the 70km/h zones. It would not solve the issues of speeding in general, but you would make people think twice about driving faster than traffic and endangering lives of other people. The ramification of your choice to speed (ECM LOCK). That gives the person a choice to speed or not to speed. At the end of the DAY we are the Government, we vote RIGHT!

  4. I wonder why one doesn’t hear from company DRIVERS ( not company officials ) about not being able to drive faster because of their limiters. Could it be that most large responsible trucking companies have figured how much time their drivers need to make a trip, that their time demands on their drivers are made accordingly and that their drivers don’t complain about their speed limiters because they find that driving at 105/110 kph is less stressful and therefore safer? Seeing as how there are probably more trucks on the road with speed limiters than not ( or at least as many ) you would expect to hear from a lot of company drivers about how unsafe or difficult to operate in traffic etc. they find limiters to be………………but I don’t think that I have read even one such comment from a company driver. All such comments are from independent owner operators. I wonder what this all means??????

  5. Allan Quicke says:

    Is there a way that Truck News can post a link on their site so that we can see all the studys that have been run concerning the speed limiter debate. I think that we are all blowing off steam, and we know that the OTA and the Ontario Minister of Transportation can’t wait for the Federal Government study to be completed, because it will debunk all their evidence, and force them to admit that speed limiters only on Trucks will cause problems.
    As an Independant Owner Operator I will admit that slowing down will save fuel, and frustration out on the road, but, I have no desire in being a rolling road block when I am in a State that has a speed limit of 70 or 75 mph. How can the Government of Ontario believe that they have the right to mandate an item that will effect my legal ability to operate as I see fit in a juristiction that is 1000 miles away.
    The Government has laws on the books that, when inforced by the Police Forces we are already paying for, will do the same thing as ECM Speed Limiters, why is a new law even beening pushed? How many drivers will be able to be insured with more than 1 or 2 speeding tickets? Mr Haight, Can you answer me that question, or do you need to see all the studys that have been done on that issue? Maybe we can agree on that one, now can’t we.

  6. Rick Gaskill says:

    In response to Allan Quicke’s request. Studies showing speed limiters have a negative effect on safety. Now supporters of speed limiters are invited to respond with studies concluding speed limiters improve safety – if there are any in existence, which is doubtful. Another good point raised by Cirillo is time and expense of enforcement. Actually it’s absurd to introduce a new regulation that is really a result of other regulations not being enforced. There wouldn’t be a speeding problem if speed limits were enforced and drivers’ log books were properly audited. There will most likely be additional funds or manpower provided to inspect speed limiters. Time and manpower for that ask will result in additional time on each truck so less trucks will be inspected each day. That’s another negative effect .

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