Do you support Ontario’s proposed speed limiter Bill?
May 1, 2008
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. -Well, it's finally happened. After months of talking about it, the provincial government has finally put forward a bill that, if passed, would require all trucks operating in Ontari...
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. -Well, it’s finally happened. After months of talking about it, the provincial government has finally put forward a bill that, if passed, would require all trucks operating in Ontario to be governed at 105 km/h. (For the full story see the cover and related pages in this issue). Supporters of the proposed law, like the Ontario Trucking Association, say that the province can expect safer roads and a marked improvement in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if the Bill is passed. Drivers, however, have been split on the issue; some siding with the environmental/safety argument, but many others calling it a violation of their freedom. Truck News stopped by the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. to see which side the drivers have taken after this most recent push for speed limiter law.
John Bortoluss, a driver trainer with Ontario Truck Training in Oshawa, Ont. says he sees both advantages disadvantages to the law, but thinks that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages – especially the environmental ones. “I think everybody’s becoming very environmentally conscious these days, if you look at the success of that Earth Hour. That’s the way everything’s going and that’s why we have to stay with it,” he says.
As for the new drivers he’s been training, Bortoluss says the industry is lucky because they don’t know any better and will embrace the new rules regardless.
Luc Gilgras, a driver with Transport Doyle out of Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, Que., who has been locked in at 105 km/h with his company for the past five years, says he doesn’t mind being speed limited – until he has to pass someone.
“If everybody’s at 105, can you see the line-ups that are going to be on the side of the road? They should let people decide for themselves,” says the veteran of 41 years.
Joe Lessard, who has two trucks with Dingwall Transport in Cornwall, Ont., isn’t speed limited by his carrier, but he chooses to drive 100 km/h anyways.
“I don’t think there’s too many trucks out there that do 105.They’re either over or under; (105 km/h is) a good speed if everybody will obey it,” he says. However, Lessard notes that everyone he hears on the CB seems to be against it.
Lorne Canning, a driver with McLaren Press Graphics based out of Bracebridge, Ont., would support the law if passed, but only because he’s paid by the hour and his longhaul hours are limited.
“As far as the environmental protection thing goes it’s an absolute joke. It’s just because of all the wars going on the politicians keep encouraging it, but it doesn’t mean nothing,” he told Truck News. “I think they should let the truck drivers decide what speed they want to travel. Most of them are safe, when they’re passing in traffic and stuff they might be doing 10-15 over, but none of them are real crazy.”
Wes King, a company driver with LA systems, says that governing Ontario’s trucks at 105 km/h will do nothing but tie up traffic.
“When the speed is restricted and there’s somebody going a couple miles slower and somebody’s trying to pass, you’re going to have all the motoring public cheesed off,” he says.