Teamsters oppose Ontario speed-limiter legislation

Feb. 25, 2009
Teamsters Canada has announced its opposition to new speed-limiter legislation in Ontario

Teamsters Canada has announced its opposition to new speed-limiter legislation in Ontario which requires all heavy trucks manufactured since 1996 to be electronically limited to a maximum of 105 km/h (about 65 mph). The regulation went into effect on Jan. 1st, but there is a six-month grace period to allow carriers to have the vehicle speed limiter set during normal maintenance, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation said.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, federal studies have demonstrated the environmental, safety and financial benefits of speed limiters, and a similar law has already been passed in Quebec.

However, owner-operators in Canada and the U.S. have complained that the law limits competition and forces drivers to reduce speed in most U.S. states where the limits are higher, the Teamsters said. The fine for driving without a speed regulator in Ontario is $250.

“I applaud the efforts made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but other considerations need to be made on environmental issues that don’t affect highway safety for motorists,” said Robert McAulay, Teamsters Canada national freight and tank haul director. “How do you expect to have a safe highway when the Ministry of Transportation is allowing two different speed limits? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the result of trucks being regulated at 105 km/h and cars travelling at 120 km/h will create: a lot of angry tailgating motorists waiting for their chance to pass, which will result in aggressive driving, not to mention the increase in lane changes.”

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