Canada may speed-limit trucks

Sept. 10, 2007
Canada ’s federal and provincial governments are considering a proposal to limit truck speed to 105 kilometers per hour (kph)— that’s about 65 miles per hour

Canada ’s federal and provincial governments are considering a proposal to limit truck speed to 105 kilometers per hour (kph)— that’s about 65 miles per hour, according to Associated Press and other news reports. The federal and provincial governments are jointly studying the idea of requiring all large trucks to have their engine microchips permanently programmed not to exceed 105 kph. The action is aimed in part at improving road safety.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), the industry lobbying group, initiated the proposal as a way to make driving safer while cutting down on emissions and fuel consumption. CTA said the average tractor-trailer could save about $7,575 U.S. in fuel each year by traveling at the lower speed. The group also said slower trucks have more chances to avoid accidents.

Not all trucking stakeholders support the move, however. One analyst noted that it would make the highways less safe because other motorists would be attempting to pass trucks even more often than presently. Other industry groups say a 105 kph governed speed will also make it hard for truckers to merge, pass or keep up with other vehicles, especially in Canadian provinces and U.S. states where speed limits are higher.

A study, to be launched this fall, will look at whether the mandatory governed speed would put Canada at an economic disadvantage with the United States, which has no plans to require trucks to adhere to a national governed road speed. “There are some unknowns that need to be [addressed] before a decision is considered,” noted Brian Orrbine, head of the Motor Carriers Division of Transport Canada.

Recommendations are expected next spring and it is projected that Canada’s federal and provincial transport ministers could make a decision as early as next fall.

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