Questions remain about speed limiter enforcement tactics

Enforcement of Ontario and Quebec’s speed limiter laws took full effect July 1 and enforcement officers in Ontario didn’t hesitate to fine drivers who didn’t have their engines locked in at 105 km/h or less.
However, the tool the MTO is using to detect whether or not a vehicle complies with the law has raised some questions. As pictured on the cover of the July issue of Truck News, the MTO is using an Ez-Tap, read-only device to plug into the engine’s ECM and determine whether or not the speed limiter is set at 105 or less.
The device, however, does not display other parameters such as tire size and gear ratios, which engine manufacturers admit can influence actual on-road speed. Naturally, this has not been lost on speed limiter opponents – most notably OBAC – who are questioning the validity of these enforcement tactics.
The MTO would likely require costly OEM software to read all the parameters that influence road speed. Not only is it costly, but it varies from engine manufacturer to engine manufacturer. To equip all scales or enforcement branches with every required version of OEM software would incur a considerable expense. Using the OEM software rather than a simple read-only device also opens the whole can of worms regarding the ability to change or corrupt ECM parameters and accessing additional information, raising questions of privacy rights.
It’s not clear where the MTO will go from here, whether they’ll acquire a more effective enforcement tool, invest in the OEM software or stick with the Ez-Tap device. However, owner/operators who are bent on fighting charges under Bill 41 may have a compelling case. Of course, it may be less time-consuming and costly to just get on with it and comply with the law.
As a side note, Quebec enforcement officers are apparently showing some more flexibility when it comes to enforcing that province’s version of the new law. Until July 31, they’ll offer drivers or owners of non-compliant trucks a seven day grace period to have their speed limiters locked in at 105.
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– Enforcement officer Travis McMunn shows the Ez-Tap tool the MTO is using to measure compliance with Ontario’s speed limiter law.

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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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    Two days ago I talked with a company driver who got a fine of $390.00 for driving a truck that is “not equiped with a speed limiting devise”. He asked his boss many times when he was going to “emasculate” his truck. The procrastinating employer kept saying “don’t worry” blah, blah, blah… He’ll pay the fine if there is one. Needless to say the driver had to keep working (wife-three kids-mortgage). Then he got checked. When he delivered the ticket his boss still agreed to pay it (thankfully) but he found out two things along the way: first the ticket goes on his abstract (apparently no demerits but still a listing), second there was NO fine for the owner, it doesn’t even go on his CVOR scoring (MAYBE in the future but not now). It therefore appears the application of speed limiters is a simple tax on helpless drivers, not on responsible companies. The driver I mentioned had absolutely no physical or legal opportunity to comply. His only option was to refuse to work and therefore refuse to feed his wife and kids. Once again the helpless driver is caught paying and suffering for a company’s workplace environment. In effect, this legislation places the ENFORCENENT of a law firstly on the pocketbook of the DRIVER not those who are actually responsible. What’s next? Are drivers going to be fined for not reporting dangerous weather conditions, speeding four wheelers… potholes?

  • The first thing we have to remember is there are 2 sides to every story and I think this one is no exception. I would like to see the ticket first and was it for speeding or for not having the speed limiter set at the 105?
    This is a delicate situation and not unique in anyway. I know there are carriers out there deliberately breaking the law. Like I mentioned there is 2 sides to every story and if the driver told the MTO; yes I have been telling my boss that he better look into this for sometime; now I agree that he should be charged. After all he is breaking the law.
    It is unfortunate and I have been lucky and always drove for a carrier that made every attempt to be on the right side of the law. I have never been in a financial situation that I would be forced to break the law to feed my family and pay the bills.
    For drivers that are forced to break the law by employers they can report them to the MTO in a formal manner which may be the best way to go.
    I think that the speed limiter issue is going to be a sore spot in the trucking industry for many years to come.

  • How many of these systems do the MOT actually have? It has been rumored they do not have many and that there are only a hand full of MOT Officers trained on it. Apparently after the enforcement began the MOT & OPP (guess they needed backup)set up on a dead end street in Leamington targeting all the trucks going into or out of this one facility. That is desparation!

  • This law is as anal as the $50,000.00 fine for wheel loss. At the root is the bureaucratic involvement where instead of looking and implementing VIABLE solutions; hand out a fine and make the province money. MTO should be visiting all carrier maintenance shops first and foremost. These are the seeds from where the problem grows.

  • WHAT????????? How is it the driver is being charged for this????????? It never crossed my mind that drivers and not owners would be hit for this. This is clearly the truck owners responsibility! If I jump into a strange truck, do I need to carry my own EZ-Tap tool to be sure the truck is legal? In my current situation I certainly know how the truck is set, but this would not always be the case. And even if I said “it needs to be set” there is no reason, in this way of enforcement, that the owner would feel compelled to set it. There is no reason that I see here for the owner to spend the money. We all know things are tight enough that very little is being spent that isn’t necessary. Under this scenario would you spend money on an oil change or on a speed limiter???

  • The drivers that have their engines governed at 110 kms can challenge the Liberals and D.O.T.over this issue When they are driving on highways with that posted speed for all of those opposed to the flaw law created by the liberal government dig your heels in,fight it all the way to the supreme court in great numbers,don,t give up or in,fight fire with fire because you have every right in the world to drive at that posted speed limit.The Liberals have become bullys so stand up for your rights as a Canadien citizens and fight the good fight of faith.You loose enough money in taxes.Don,t let them rob you of earning a living too.We have to band together and demand our right to govern your motor accordingly.I see those liberals as nothing more than unpatriotic bullys.You can take legal action against them so long as you are compliant with the 110 kms speed limts for American highways and Western Canada too.The 105 kms was made too rob us of our profits and put us right out of the truck driving industry.iIt is doing us a lot more harm than good economicly.Take action must prove to them that their law is an unpatriotic law and continually remind them how much it is harming you,the economy,and the company.Use your God given rights.The Liberals must not and cannot take our rights away in the name of good common sense.They forced their rediculas ideas long enough.we must force our ideas on them.We must hit them like a title wave with our good sense of reasoning.We can do this.

  • Truck drivers in Ontario, in most cases agree with the limiters regulated on their vehicles, if working in this province was all that a driver did. What about the rest of the nation, and the United States where speed limits are much higher. The Ontario Government is so smug, they expect all drivers from all international sources to conceit to Ontario laws.
    Heres the bottom line for drivers. Its not the speed that drivers are bitching, its the extra time, extra planning for on time deliveries, and the compensation remains the same. If the Ontario government can dictate these laws, then they can instruct the companies to increase drivers rate per miles, as well.
    And when it comes to reducing speeds in Ontario, it should begin at the top, that their vehicle be the first to be reduced. And just maybe, as an insurance incentive, maybe all vehicleS should be CONTROLLED to limit them to 110km/h. As we have it, trucks make more room for the speeders, and four wheeled vehicles are speeding more.

  • I was stopped 50 km south of North Bay by O.P.P.
    On a downgrade I was told I was clocked at 113 in a 100 zone.
    Instead of a speeding ticket I was nailed for operating without a working speed limiter. Officer never checked it, just wrote out ticket. They know most companies won’t fight as it doesn’t affect their profile. Drivers may not fight because they can’t afford it or take the time.
    An absolute naked cash grab. It’s hard enough to make a living out here without being robbed by the O.P.P.
    Another reason to avoid this line of work.