How would you feel if speed limiters on trucks became mandatory?
September 1, 2005
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Back from a recent fact-finding mission to Europe, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) wants to make speed limiters on all trucks in Ontario, and possibly North America, mandato...
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Back from a recent fact-finding mission to Europe, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) wants to make speed limiters on all trucks in Ontario, and possibly North America, mandatory. OTA board members and staff claim limiters will reduce fuel consumption and emissions, not to mention the number of annual speeding tickets given out to drivers. But the drivers’ opinions on the issue are divided. Truck News stopped by the Husky Truck Stop on Shawson Drive in Mississauga, Ont. to find out where drivers stand.
Yvon Ross, a driver with Warren Transport in New Brunswick, said if a speed limiter was installed in his truck, it wouldn’t make much difference to him.
“The company truck that I’ve got now is already locked up at 110 km/h. So I can’t go any faster anyways,” he said.
Owner/operator Leonard Swedick also said speed limiters wouldn’t affect him much, as he doesn’t drive over 60 miles an hour. However, he said that if the OTA intends on implementing the new system, they’d better do it right across the country, not just in Ontario.
“They’ve got to do the whole thing straight across Canada,” he said. “Ontario’s going to try to be the hero and do it here first. But what happens when you’re not in Ontario? Do you flip a switch and not use it anymore?”
Gerard Green, also an owner/operator, said the speed limiters might be a good idea. The Newfoundland native said the program might help truck drivers’ reputation as being reckless drivers by putting them all at the same speed.
“If the speed limit’s 100, everybody wants to go 110. If it’s 110, everybody wants to go 120,” he said. “But if everybody’s going the same speed then nobody can complain about it, right?”
Dan Witney, a driver for Diamond Towing and Float Services Inc. in Bolton, Ont., doesn’t agree with the idea of speed limiters. He said unless the chosen speed limit was compatible with certain areas with higher speed limits, like some areas of the U.S., the system could be dangerous.
“What happens when you hit the southern states and the speed limits are 75 miles an hour? It’s a hazard.”
The driver of 16 years has never had a speeding ticket and said if drivers were more patient, there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.
William Brown, a driver for a Florida-based company, was livid when he heard about the possibility of mandatory speed limiters, asking where the speed limiters were for four-wheelers flying down the 401 at 90 miles an hour in their new Corvettes.
He said speed limiters are just another way for associations like the OTA to take away truckers’ freedom.
“The OTA has got their ass in the wrong gear. They haven’t got a clue how to stay out of our business. They’re putting their nose in where they shouldn’t,” he said. “They’re only looking out for themselves.”