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QUEBEC CITY, Que. - In what appears to be a virtual fait accomplis, Ontario and Quebec say they will simultaneously bring laws into force on Jan. 1, 2009, that will require heavy vehicles to drive wit...


QUEBEC CITY, Que. –In what appears to be a virtual fait accomplis, Ontario and Quebec say they will simultaneously bring laws into force on Jan. 1, 2009, that will require heavy vehicles to drive with their speed limiters set at 105 km/h. After a grace period that will likely last six months, police can start levying fines for non-compliance.

In Quebec, a Draft Minister’s Order, published Oct. 29, 2008, sets out which vehicles must comply and which ones are exempt: “Heavy vehicles whose speed limiter must be activated and set at a maximum speed of 105 km/h are the heavy vehicles assembled after 31 December 1994 and whose gross vehicle weight rating is at least 11,794 kg, except emergency vehicles, tool vehicles, buses, trailers, semi-trailers, detachable axles and vehicles used for personal purposes.”

The Order does not specify the fine for non-compliance, but one source expects it will be $300.

The Order is subject to a 45-day comment period, plus 15 days.

“We are in a position to state officially that the 105 km/h speed limiter law will be put into force on January 1, 2009,” says Transport Quebec’s Gervain Corbin. The exact date does, however, depend on the advice of the Minister of Transport.

“The way I read it is that the law will be in force on January 1, but I think sanctions will start on July 1,” says Quebec Trucking Association president and director general Marc Cadieux.

In Ontario, says Bob Nichols, who is with the communications branch of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, “We are preparing our speed limiter regulations. They have not yet been approved (as of Oct. 31). Subject to approval, the legislation will take effect on January 1, 2009. Following implementation of the law it will then be followed by a six-month education period.”

During the education period there will be no fines for non-compliance.

Details remain to be sorted out concerning the readiness of the equipment Quebec’s enforcement officers will use to check trucks’ speed limiter settings, but one thing is for sure: if a truck is clocked going faster than 105 km/h, it’s a fair assumption that its speed limiter is not set correctly and the driver may be speedily fined.

The announcement of a Jan. 1 implementation date angered the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). The group said Quebec Transport Minister Julie Boulet reneged on an earlier commitment to wait until all other provinces were on-board before enforcing the law.

“Our members are furious,” said Rick Craig, OOIDA’s director of regulatory affairs. “Not only is Minister Boulet going back on her word, she is also disregarding the grim implications this decision will have on trade.” The lobby group vowed to mount a legal challenge, once the law kicks in.


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