Speed limiters: Non-compliance by O/Os may be costly for carriers

So here’s another twist to the speed limiter issue which may not have received due consideration when the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) was developing the proposal.
According to a Ministry of Transportation official, it’s likely that violations of the speed limiter law (once it comes to be), will go against a carrier’s CVOR rating.
“If the proposed legislation is passed, it is likely violations will count against a carrier’s CVOR rating,” I was recently told by an MTO official. (For the full story, see the May issues of Truck News and Truck West, available next week).
It’s no secret that the muscle behind the proposed legislation has been the OTA, which represents the Ontario carrier community. The real proponents of the proposal have been some of Ontario’s biggest carriers – in many cases, the best-run companies the trucking industry has to offer. Most of these carriers already employ speed control and have developed in-depth safety programs.
These carriers value their hard-earned CVOR ratings, and I would venture to guess that the carriers in favour of speed limiter legislation collectively boast some of the best CVOR ratings in the industry. But once the new law is adopted, they run the risk of seeing those CVOR ratings go down the toilet if their owner/operators refuse to play by the new rules.
I’m not by any means suggesting that owner/operators will set out to sabotage their employers’ CVOR ratings by refusing to comply with the rule, once it is passed. Not only would it be illegal and unethical, but it would also come at a huge personal cost, as O/Os would be slapped with fines as for non-compliance.
However, I do feel that many carriers may unwittingly incur damage to their valued CVOR rating once this rule becomes law, an unintended consequence of hoisting an unpopular new legislation on an unwelcoming driver pool. Despite the MTO’s promise of an educational enforcement period during which no fines will be levied against violators, I have a hunch there will be plenty of penalties doled out once the MTO cracks its whip. There will undoubtedly be a segment of the population that tries to tamper with the settings, and they will surely test the abilities (and patience) of some of Ontario’s finest inspection officers. In the process, some will get busted. And in the process, their employers’ CVORs will take a hit.
It will be interesting to see how carriers enforce the new law within their own operations. It’s simple enough to govern company equipment, but ensuring compliance amongst their owner/operators may prove more of a challenge. For owner/operators and carriers, the cost of non-compliance will be high. But one could argue that it’s the carriers that face the biggest risk – especially those with an unblemished CVOR rating at stake.

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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 james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • A few holes in this,o/o takes his/her truck has it calibrted at 105 than goes home chaneges 22.5 rubber to 24.5 computer/ecm is still reading 22.5 rubber?More extreme ow/op does a gear change/tranny swap ecm/computer still reading 13 over when in fact 18 over.I even talked to people who can install an override switch “flip the switch shows 105 “Not well though out law but what do I know!Remember when tacographs were the rage”Funny thing expert was brought in to show us how it worked,DRIVER HAD DRILLED HOLE IN FACE OF TACOGRAPH INSERTED TOOTHPICK TO STOP AT 60 MPH TRUE STORY”So for every system there is a way to defeat it!Remeber 95 freightshakers craweled under and pulled wires off the tailstock of tranny “Check engine light would come on”But truck would run wide open!Been there done that!

  • Most of these carriers already employ speed control and have developed in-depth safety programs.
    If you drive often in Ontario highways, I have never seen a truck respecting the speed limit
    Trucks are a loaded bomb and need to be contained
    limit the speed in all trucks in Ontario is the best way to save lives

  • if you limit the speed of only one of the vehicle types on the highways and not the rest, you create a different set of problems and yes, even different types of accidents

  • Funny….. all these cars are getting seized for running more than 50 kms over the limit but yet they want speed limiters on trucks.Go figure.I think it looks good on all these OTA members that will take a hit on there CVOR’s,after all they are the ones that wanted the speed limiters.No sympathy here!!!

  • This speed limiter thing just seems to be another feel good band aid that is going to cost a lot of hard working and honest people a lot of time money and head aches, and probably not do a heck of a lot of good. I can’t help but wonder how long it will be until the powers that are shoving this down the throats of truckers take aim at all the cars, suv’s, motor homes, motor cycles and every other type of vechile on the highways of this country that seems to be lost to us a little bit at the time. Every one in favor of sppeed limiters raise your right arm.
    DO NOT IMPOSE RULES AND RGUTLATIONS ON THE MASSES BECAUSE OF THE ACTIONS OF A FEW PEOPLE. All you will do is spend a lot of time and taxpayer money and makeing a lot ot honest people crimanls. Case in point GUN CONTROL, any sane person has got to wonder how many billions of dollars will be wasted on this program that good have been used differently and would have made a real difference.

  • Where are our rights as a owner operator on this issue. Aren’t we suppose to be living in a free country…..
    Every time I am reading the trucknews news paper , there is always something about what the OTA and the big GuyS in the industrie wants, and what they want is to dictate their own rules to everyone that are in the trucking business. I pay for my own plates and insurance and the big bucks for my insurance ,cause I only have one truck but… I should have the right of saying to the goverment as every one else, and right know I feel that my rights have been violated.I don’t have any problems about following any speed limits but I do have a problem to accept that it’s only a small bunch of people and trucking companies that wants to run the show.If the goverment really wants to slow down the speed on their hiways, the sure can do so by adding more officers on the roads.If they would increase their presence out there maybe the four wheelers would slow down to. What I don’t wont to see out there is slow moving trucks and outrageous four wheelers running those hiways like if they were on a racing track. If this law passes thru I sure will be affraid for my own safety out their,and the goverment should really take a good look into my issue because I have a right be feel safe on these hiways just like every body else.You can not have two different speed limits out there , us at 105 and them at what ever speed the like to drive their cars at.If we have to be monitor at 105 for safety reasons….well I demand that the goverment monitors the four wheelers at 110 km for my own safety As a truck driver I need to feel safe out there to.Thank YOu.

  • Another twist. Driver gets stopped for speeding, officer can now issue two tickets. One to the driver for the speeding offence and a second one to the operator for no speed limiter. Result 2 convictions on the operators CVOR and more points. The whole concept of speed limiters on trucks is another way for the provincial government to pass the cost of enforcement of the speeding laws to the trucking companies. It does not address overall speeding by the general public.

  • i as a O/O also pay my own plates ins. heavy user tax,us border transponder ect ect ect ect. i drive at a safe and fuel efficient speed BUT at 105 speed limit i will not think twice about pulling out to pass a 5 axle loaded trailer at 105 because i pull a tandem trailer. 4 wheelers are going to love us,but i pay more in fuel,taxes, insurance so they will have to wait 10-15 minutes while i pass thar OTA heavy truck.this is going to cause nothing but road rage between trucks and cars THANKS OTA

  • My data port has some kind of issue. If the repair facility wishes to check my ecm the must plug into the ecm. Will the mto going to be able to ? No they will probably give me a ticket and tell me to have it fixed. ever try to chase down a electrical issue in todays trucks . I see a big dollars for the labour going out the window.
    I see all kinds of hand held programers for diesel pickups, what about getting some for big trucks? We could make it legal in On. then change it back outside the province?

  • I welcome speed limiters to the trucking industry with somewhat perverse fascination. Mostly interseted in watching this social experiment play itself out to be what it will be . The art of manipulating heavy equipment on Ontario highways has become a chore at the best of times , I can only imagine what a restriction such as a capped 105 kph speed limit will do and how the future traffic pattern will manifest itself. And why 105 kph? A more practical speed would be 110kph where the flow of traffic would be less obstructed. 90kph is the speed for maximum fuel mileage if the reasoning is lessen fuel consumption.
    I wonder if all trucks would be condemned to the righ lane of any highway due to the inability to break rank from the crowd. They would possibly look like a row of automatoms stretching from Windsor to Cornwall and staring at each others back doors for hours on end. And what about those poor motorists capable of such incredible speeds but having to weave those speeds around and through that right lane that resembles a endless line of freight railcars.
    My only concern is the behaviour of other vehicles around slower trucks and if this will add to feed the fury that is “The motorist of 2008”. You know, The ones that need to be 20 kph over the speed limit all the time with a coffee , cigarette and cellphone just a blazing. Anyone who has been travelling westbound 401, exiting at Dixie rd. and tried to move across 5 lanes of 120 kph++ traffic with a 105 kph tractor knows what I am talking about. GOOD LUCK.
    Highways and byways are often referred to as “Arteries” and liken to arteries should be free of blockage. I hope this “experiment” does not create blockage or more rage and is without repercussions. I have doubts

  • maybe when they get the limiters in we should do as we did back when we hauled to the us and go to the border and transfer the loads to ont. trucks. when will we as a industry stand up and get noticed by our goverments the farmers and fishermen go as one and get something done why cant we? as far as the remarks made by one of your readers we as a group of workers in this industry spend most of the time away from our familys and are treated as the worst of the worst. i have been driving for 34 years and i have never seen it as bad as this in all of this time so when some of the 4 wheelers have something to say against trucks you better walk a mile in my shoes and take the abuse i have taking in the last years is there any wonder i want to get out of something i used to love to do rember if you got it a TRUCK BROUGHT IT

  • So they have finally gone and done it,im not too surprised it was bound to happen
    Big brother watching over us.I remember when i started in the workforce some 45 years ago
    I was eager to earn a living for myself,be independent.Hmmmmm that word for alot of workers
    meant to be on your own ,no one looking over your shoulder all the time,to be your own boss
    That is why I chose to enter the transportation field .It felt good to be in control of my
    daily workplace,my office myspace,to be able to make decisions on my own!!!!!!! without
    someone who is not in my office,and does not know the circumstances of my actions trying to
    make decisions for me.
    Now it seems….. every tom dick and harry want to drive my truck for me,ha i get that
    everyday on the road.

  • Welcome to Russia Ontario you tell David Bradley to road limit his car and every Ontario car owner to do the same, and see what happens it seem to me when i bought my 130,000 dollar truck i was in my own business for my self but i guess not i think all us o/o should just park our trucks and give them back to the dealer where we bought them that would make David Bradley happy.i have been in this industry since 1968 and it has gotten steadley worse since then, i’am a shame to say I DRIVE A TRUCK IN ONTARIO. thank god i’am almost though driving a truck i feel sorry for the new driver’s comming up today.

  • Those opposed to the speed limiter…..stop whining. I have seen way to many dangerous truck drivers and they are getting worse. There are very very few professional truck drivers and I feel this limiter is only being introduced because of those new cowboys who have given the industry such a poor image.
    There is no need to go above 105km/h. If there is a situation that may result in an accident…then slow down.

  • yep we will all be a BIG CONVEY down the highway ,breaker breaker rubber ducky!!!no where to go ,yep safe!!!good job ontario!!!

  • Speed Limters, GPS tracking to verify logbook accuracy, 14 hours then stop working- whether you drove 25 miles and spent 13 hours loading/unloading at Customs, AFIS, FDA, USDA, sleeping or waiting. The list keeps getting longer of the “rules” that are being applied to TRUCKERS. As a police officer I can work a double shift 16 hours, a nurse, doctor, shipper/reciever etc, etc,. Don’t get me wrong I do not want longer hours – I want smarter hours, better paid hours, respect for what we do and endure as drivers. ( U.S customs has a washroom for K-9 dogs right outside drivers room- the washroom for drivers?? next building over and you better ask permission b4 you go!)
    Last I checked The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protected people against against dicrimination based upon Race, colour, creed, religion, disability, occupation. Why am I being singled out for a law based upon my occupation as a Truck Driver.
    If ALL drivers/vehicles had to be limited to say 120 I’d still not like it but I’d be o.k with it. However, the MTO would sure lose out on a pile of revenue – They have impounded and fined over a 1000 vehicles with the new racing law… the only truck was a tandem garbage truck caught doing 50 in a 100 zone as he came back into Goderich. SO tell me WHO needs speed limiters more truck drivers or passenger vehicle drivers.
    We can bitch all we want as long as fresh oranges n’ juice from Florida, the Pork and beef, potatoes, corn flakes, bread and butter and gasoline keep getting to the stores on time- we’ll continue to have new rules and regs imoposed on us as an industry. why?? No one voice – OTA is not a workers voice it is a Business owners voice.
    David Bradley panders to the companies that fund him- not the drivers or O/O’s.
    CODU- Canadaian Operator and Drivers Union – all Commercial drivers and O/O’ had to join if you wanted to drive a truck if you held a valid CDL. For the record I’m against todays unions (giving lazy, slackers a job where employers can’t get rid of them, for an outrageous amount of pay/benefits or holding students or public hostage for demands) However, when groups started for working conditions equal to slavery, extreme below average pay, and things to the like – Then – YES – I’m on board- problem is I’m the only member of CODU (cause I just made it up)

  • Just a few comments about speed limiters. If this were about safety it would be applied to cars. I am in the business of defending charges against trucking companies and their drivers. Mark Reynolds OTT Legal 416-221-6888. I don’t expect much business from the new speed limiter legislation because I’m being told (at present)that no CVOR points will be applied to this offence. The limit of 105 suggests that trucks are running rampant on the 400 series highways (which is the only place this legislation would be helpful)at excessive speeds. A truck driver getting a speeding ticket on the 400 series highways is VERY RARE. So the reasoning behind this legislation is revenue, which is why this law will not apply to cars. (imagine the revenue that the municipalities would lose if cars had speed limiters)The OTA represents it’s clients, not the trucking industry as has been mentioned numerous times above. It is in the interests of large compliant carriers to have this extra financial burden placed on the smaller carriers.

  • I came from a former Communist country to escape from outrageous and stupid rules and laws but I ended up living in a Capitalist country which unfortunately has a lot of communist laws full of stupidity. Racism = discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race (in our case our drivers)