Truck News


Speed limiters are not a safety solution

Dear Editor:

Dear Editor:

Lou, I have read and re-read your comments on speed limiters being passed into law in Ontario, and it totally baffles me. First, let me give you my background in the rubber tire industry so there is no doubt in your mind that I’m not a neophyte. I spent 30 years (1970- 2000) and 2.6 million logged miles in trucks.

Since 2000, I have been a highway safety manager for a 125- truck fleet here in B. C.

Over the years I have seen, and hauled with, trucks with limiters on them. They are the most dangerous pieces of equipment on the roadways today. The reason I say that, is if the speed limit is 100 km/h, any truck wants to do the legal speed. That, after all is how most drivers make their money, being paid by the mile.

Now enter a four-wheeler doing 95, 96 km/h, and the road rage starts, simply because the truck driver knows it’s going to take anywhere between two and five kilometres to get past the four-wheeler.

That is if the four-wheeler doesn’t decide to speed up 2 or 3 km/h, realizing he was daydreaming or whatever.

So, the limited truck pulls back in behind the four-wheeler and his red line starts to rise.

He’ll try again, and if that attempt fails, then it’s time to tailgate. There are many ways to prevent trucks from doing more than the posted speeds.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a Class 8 vehicle out beside you, three feet or less away, at 105 km/h trying to get past, but I know the majority of passenger vehicle drivers freak when a super train is running right beside them mile after mile.

Don’t forget, truckers have the right to pass too. As for correcting the speed problem, it’s simple.

The number one solution is huge fines. Number two, monitor the drivers. Weed out the noncompliant ones.

Three, pay more money so 750 miles isn’t a prerequisite. As for owner/operators -huge fines! After so many points, take away their operating authority -they’ll slow down.

Just as a sidebar here Lou, I manage 125 units and 160 drivers, and we haven’t had a speeding ticket in two years.

We have a Qualcomm system, we download it regularly and enforce the rules. And by the way, our driver turnover is about 2.5% per year -80% of the drivers we have are 10 years plus guys, so you figure it out.

Mike Elgert

Bandstra Transportation Systems Smithers B. C.

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