The Main Problem With Speed Limiters Is Uneven Enforcement
July 1, 2009
Being a fleet owner, I am completely in agreement with the 105 km/h limiter law. The only problem I see is that this law has absolutely no teeth. Let's go back in time and understand why this law was ...
Being a fleet owner, I am completely in agreement with the 105 km/h limiter law. The only problem I see is that this law has absolutely no teeth. Let’s go back in time and understand why this law was implemented in the first place. The OTA, upon recommendations from their top members, asked the government to cut back truck speeds. Why you ask? For safety? For the environment? The answer is “kinda, maybe, sort of.” Remember when trucking companies couldn’t get anyone to drive for them? They called it a driver’s shortage. OTA and its members got together and concocted a plan to lower the driving speed (most of the big players in the OTA already had a lower speed policy in place) so that drivers would not have a choice of where to go based on speed. Why work for company whose speed policy is say 62 mph when you can work for a guy around the corner with a policy at, say, 72 mph. If, as a company owner, you try to cut back the speed policy, hold onto your shield because the spears are being aimed right for your heart. I had a mutiny when I tried to do it. In come the OTA and the Government of Ontario and voil, no more mutiny. The government takes the hit and we are innocent parties who have to abide by the legislation. As a fleet owner, I couldn’t be happier. Congratulations Dalton.
The problem I have is that I have recently been speaking to senior officials at the MTO in the policy branch and they have told me that if you are caught at the scales -and as of this writing, as per my contact at the MTO, there is only ONE scale capable of downloading your ECM codes) -it’s only a fine. NO POINTS on your CVOR. This means out-of-province, trucks can still flout the law and probably never get caught (remember only ONE SCALE in Ontario is equipped. If you live, say, in Arkansas and get to the border at Detroit/Windsor and have the unfortunate luck of going over the one scale that is equipped to check your trucks ECM, you walk away with a fine of $250. If I were the guy getting the fine, I would treat it like a parking ticket and throw it in the garbage. The province will not spend the money to chase any out-of-province truck to get the $250 back. Remember: no points on your CVOR. Unlevel playing field.
If you live in Ontario, the Province will not allow you to renew your plates until you pay the fine. Unlevel playing field again. The Ministry also confirms that your truck will not be put out-of-service. Yet the HTA specifically states: Section 68.(1) No person shall drive, or permit the operation of, a commercial motor vehicle on a highway unless the vehicle is equipped with a speed-limiting system that is activated and functioning in accordance with the regulations. 2008, c. 8, s. 1. Unless I’m reading it incorrectly, once you are caught, the law states you can no longer operate or drive that vehicle. How can the government implement a law and then not follow it? This puts all Ontario-based trucking companies at a distinct disadvantage and I, for one, demand a level playing field first and foremost.
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