Speed Limiter Protest Fizzles As Age Discrimination Battle Ramps Up
April 1, 2009
As far as protests go, it wasn't exactly the Million Man March. Despite expectations of some 200 or more trucks forming peaceful convoys from starting points in Cambridge and Bowmanville and convergin...
As far as protests go, it wasn’t exactly the Million Man March. Despite expectations of some 200 or more trucks forming peaceful convoys from starting points in Cambridge and Bowmanville and converging at Queen’s Park March 2, only a half dozen or so trucks actually took part.
I counted a couple dozen professional drivers on the grounds, who were there to support protest organizer Scott Mooney.
Their cause, of course, was Bill 41 -Ontario’s controversial law requiring all trucks in the province to be mechanically limited to 105 km/h.
If you’re the glass half empty type, it’s easy to write the demonstration off as an embarrassing flop. Some in the mainstream media have already done so.
If you’re an optimist, on the other hand, you take solace in the fact that the handful of drivers who did participate had their moment in front of a full throng of mainstream media.
Pretty much every media outlet was represented and a news chopper circled persistently overhead, seemingly waiting all the while for the convoy to arrive.
At the end of the day, based on the few short clips that did make the news, the journalists that attended were either under-whelmed by the display, disinterested in the message or both. Or maybe, like me, they were unable to keep their pens from freezing solid.
Mooney told me after the event that while he was disappointed in the turnout, he was grateful for the support of some key players – notably two Opposition MPPs, the Teamsters and OBAC. He’s still hopeful enforcement of Bill 41 will be suspended until the legislature can further review all studies completed on the potential impacts of the law.
It’s unlikely. But kudos to him for representing himself with class, even in the face of major disappointment.
More than 700 people expressed their support for the demonstration on a Facebook page and dozens -if not hundreds -made verbal commitments to be there.
Those who did attend were, quite frankly, hung out to dry.
On another note, could it be that the issue of mandatory road tests for senior drivers in Ontario is every bit as contentious as the speed limiter law?
Based on the number of calls I received from senior drivers in response to last month’s cover story and editorial, I’d say it’s close.
I appreciate every one of those calls. Most callers wanted to know what they could do to have the law changed, especially now that new equipment requirements have created further inconveniences.
We’ve partnered with OBAC to create a page devoted to the issue on its Web site ( www.obac.ca).
At the very least, you’ll now have a place to direct uninformed MPPs for background on this issue.
Some insiders have voiced optimism that the road test requirements for senior drivers will in fact be lifted. That’s good news. But in the meantime, let’s help nudge along those who wield the power to get such things done. •
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