TORONTO, Ont. — Speed-related, at-fault collisions involving large commercial vehicles dropped by an impressive 73% after mandatory speed limiter legislation took effect in Ontario, according to a recent study by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
The drop in truck collisions was significantly greater than the decrease found in other vehicle drivers (30%), the report also concluded.
Despite skeptics’ insistence before the rule took effect that slowing down large trucks would inadvertently lead to more collisions with passenger cars and other vehicles, the study concluded there is absolutely no evidence speed limiters have contributed to an increase in truck drivers involved in other types of collisions post-2009, including rear-end crashes.
The study also dispelled the myth that in a speed limiter environment, drivers adjust their driving behavior to compensate for any perceived time lost as a result of driving slower.
The year-long study conducted between 2014-2015 examined data from pre- (2006-2008) and post- (2010-2012) speed limiter legislation by using fatal, injury, and police reported property damage collisions on high-speed highways. It also looked at MTO enforcement officers’ large vehicle driver speed data, among other real-world data.
The study also found that:
a. Drivers of large trucks produced fewer at-fault speed collisions relative to all at-fault driver actions, post 2009;
b. No evidence to indicate worse collision outcomes for large truck drivers post 2009;
c. The percentage of truck drivers struck in the rear (of all collisions), stayed the same from pre- to post legislation (10.03 % of total collisions 2006-2008 and 10.47% 2010-2012) while the rate increased for other drivers (18.6% 2006-2008; and 21.3% 2010-2012).