Judge Sides with MTO in Speed Limiter Case

TORONTO – Owner-operator Lee Ingratta has “been convicted of not permitting a test of his computer to take place under the speed limiter legislation,” said David Crocker, Ingratta’s attorney, to todaystrucking.com.

The Gravenhurst, ON. driver refused to allow MTO inspectors to plug in the Ez-Tap scanner unless the officer first signed a waiver assuming responsibility in the event of damages to the engine.

(Ingratta, as well as others in the industry, claimed that the device the ministry uses to gauge compliance can transmit static charges to truck ECMs and even upload viruses.)

The officer refused and fined Ingratta for not submitting to a compliance check, which is still a violation under the Highway Traffic Act.

Ingratta took the MTO to court where a traffic judge shared some of those concerns and dismissed the ticket.

Arguing that the traffic court judge “erred” in his judgment, the MTO asked the Appeals Court to either overturn the first decision and find Ingratta guilty or order a new trial — and a new trial began, giving both the MTO and Ingratta another chance to make their cases.

“We argued that this wasn’t a refusal and that the defence of necessity, in other words, Ingratta had significant concerns about the integrity of his computer on the basis of information he had received from others if it were to be tested,” Crocker explained.

But, “the judge didn’t believe that we had connected the dots well-enough,” Crocker told todaystrucking.com this morning.

“The concerns Ingratta had and the evidence we put forth through two witnesses as to the problems that arose with computers after they had been tested was insufficient for two reasons,” Crocker explained. “One, that the problems we described couldn’t be connected to the testing because they had occurred sometime after the testing had happened… and two that Ingratta had been specifically aware of these problems when he made his decision. And on that basis, he was convicted of not permitting a test of his computer to take place under the speed limiter legislation.”

The sentence, however, was suspended, and no fine was imposed.

“The judge recognized that Ingratta did what he did on the matter of principle, and defended the charge on a matter of principle — cost him a lot of money — and he understood that and that’s why he suspended sentence, and the Crown didn’t oppose.”

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