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BREAKING NEWS: Truck speed limiter law introduced in Ontario

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario government introduced a bill in the legislature today that, if approved, will require ...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario government introduced a bill in the legislature today that, if approved, will require all trucks operating in the province to be governed at 105 km/h.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has been calling for such legislation for two and a half years now. Quebec has similar legislation, though it hasn’t yet been activated. The latest word has been that Quebec was waiting for Ontario to proceed with its speed limiter law before activating its own.

Ontario Transport Minister Jim Bradley presented the legislation today, which was lauded by the OTA.

OTA president David Bradley (no relation to the Minister), said the legislation “is a significant step forward for highway safety and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Speed limiters are electronic microchips which exist on virtually all heavy-duty trucks manufactured since the mid-1990s. The activation of speed limiters is standard in Europe, but is not yet required in any North American jurisdictions. Lobby groups representing owner/operators in the US and here in Canada have vehemently opposed the legislation, calling it an attempt to level the playing field between large and small carriers.

For its part, OTA says it’s an environmental and safety initiative and the group points out at least half the carriers operating in Ontario already govern their trucks.

“It just makes sense,” said OTA’s Bradley. “Not only is there a direct relationship between speed and the severity of crashes, but there is a direct payback in improved fuel efficiency from operating at lower speeds and that in turn reduces costs and GHG emissions.”

The association claims as much as 280 kilotonnes of greenhouse gases will be eliminated each year.

“Truck drivers are the least likely to be excessively speeding, but there are some who need to slow it down and this technology will allow us to do that without putting a further drain on police resources that would be better spent going after reckless motorists and criminals,” Bradley said. “We acknowledge that there are some in the industry who oppose this measure, just like there were those who didn’t like being told they must use seat belts or motorcycle helmets, despite the obvious advantages. However, in due course we are confident that they too will see the benefit, especially to their bottom line.”

OTA is anticipating “all-party support” for the bill and is urging the legislature to approve the legislation “without delay.”

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