In Sept. 2009, I wrote a letter to then Ontario Minister of Transportation Jim Bradley, expressing my concern with the speed limiter law that the government had passed requiring trucks to be governed at 105 km/h. As a long-distance truck driver, I explained that having Ontario trucks governed at a speed of 105 km/h put the driver at a disadvantage when they travelled in jurisdictions with speed limits greater than 105 km/h.
In a letter from Mr. Bradley dated Oct. 7 2009, responding to my concern, he stated a 2005 traffic survey showed that 30-60% of large trucks were exceeding 105 km/h on our 400-series highways. The mandatory speed limiter program was brought in to help address this concern.
In a telephone conversation with the enforcement program advisor in Mr. Bradley’s office, I suggested if there is a problem with speeding trucks, instead of passing the speed limiter law we should adopt a policy like the state of Michigan and have strict enforcement of the speed limit towards large trucks.
I was advised this was not possible because there are not enough law enforcement personnel to do this. My response was if there not enough people to enforce the speed limit – a law that already exists – who is going to enforce the new speed limiter law?
I suggested instead of spending money on electronic readers to check if the truck is properly governed, the money should be spent on installing radar units in MTO enforcement vehicles and have them enforce the speed limit on the 400-series highways. The government with its great wisdom spent thousands of dollars on these electronic readers to determine if the truck was in compliance with the speed limiter law.
Fast forward to 2014, an article in the February issue of Truck News states the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is equipping its vehicles with radar to help officers better enforce the province’s speed limiter legislation. The law allows for charges to be laid against truckers driving faster than 115 km/h as it’s presumed at that speed that a functioning speed limiter is absent.
Once MTO cars are equipped with radar, they will be able to officially clock commercial vehicles and better support fines against drivers travelling over 115 km/h.
The speed limit is 100 km/h, trucks are to be governed at 105 km/h, and Mr. Bradley stated the speed limiter law was passed because 30-60% of large trucks were travelling greater than 105 km/h, but now officers are not going to lay charges unless the truck is exceeding 115 km/h?
It makes one wonder what goes on in the Ontario Liberal Government’s Ministry of Transportation office.
Ron Gunson Tara, Ont.
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