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Do you think mandatory speed limiters are a good idea?

CALGARY, Alta. - The "need for speed" was immortalized in 1986 by Tom Cruise in the classic movie Top Gun. But, fighter pilots and truck drivers operate by a different set of rules. Now, 20 years late...


CALGARY, Alta. – The “need for speed” was immortalized in 1986 by Tom Cruise in the classic movie Top Gun. But, fighter pilots and truck drivers operate by a different set of rules. Now, 20 years later and 2,500 miles from Hollywood, the Ontario Trucking Association is pushing for a policy to take the “need for speed” temptation away from the driver. The OTA’s policy, if it becomes law, will require all trucks operating inside the province’s borders to activate speed limiters restricting top speeds to 105 km/h. Ideally, the OTA would like to see the policy adopted throughout North America and the Canadian Trucking Alliance has begun urging other provincial associations to take up the cause. The policy has not been without its critics, with owner/operator associations in both Canada and the United States being the most vocal. Truck West stopped by the Road King Truck Stop in Calgary to find out how the people behind the wheel felt about the idea of having mandatory speed limiters.

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Joe Muise, a company driver for Oceanside Carriers out of Truro, N.S. does not agree with only limiting the speed of trucks and would rather have all traffic on the highway travelling at the same speed. If the speed of trucks is limited, so should the speed of four-wheelers.

“You are going to have cars going faster than trucks and cutting us off to go off right-hand ramps and coming onto the highway you’re going to have the same thing,” he said. “We should be allowed to follow the flow of traffic, not slow it down.”

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Terry Gladue, a driver for Kocsis Transport in Saskatoon, Sask. has done a number of runs into the U.S. and has seen the affect of dual speed limits in place. He does not agree with mandatory speed limiters, saying it will only create new problems along the highways and would rather see efforts made to simplify driving.

“It’s just a cash-grab for the government. It’s going to create more accidents with all the trucks pulled over on the side of the road.”

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Jim Valois, a company driver for the Cobourg, Ont.-based Cravin Logistics, also does not agree with having mandatory speed limiters. Currently travelling with his wife Michelle, Valois doesn’t like the idea of having limited control over his truck.

“If you’re going downhill in the winter and you’re doing 105 km/h and your trailer starts coming down on you, you need to be able to pick it up,” he noted. “You need to be able to accelerate to get away from it.”

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Earl Disbrowe, a company driver with Roadfast in Mississauga, Ont. has been in the business for about 16 years and does not agree with mandatory speed limiters, viewing them as death traps for drivers.

“What they should worry about is having more places for drivers to sleep and better roads,” he said. “What they should worry about is the inexperience of the drivers behind the wheel.”

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Al Myers, driver of a three-axle end dump truck for York Hauling in Calgary, Alta. disagrees with the idea of mandatory speed limiters.

“It’s all the regulations like these which got me off the road,” he said. “If you need to pass someone, you need that extra boost.”


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