Restrictive Ontario Law For Truck Drivers Being Challenged

Posted by Jon van Ekelenburg on February 3, 2012

 

Heavy truck drivers in Ontario have undoubtedly run up against the problem of the government-mandated speed limiters on their trucks since 2009, but one driver has challenged the law and declared it a violation of his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

Gene Michaud, an Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) member in St. Catharines has testified that he believes the speed restrictions are dangerous to heavy truck drivers, particularly those operating on U.S. highways.

 

The mandatory truck speed limiters were introduced in Ontario and Quebec in 2009 and cap the speeds of heavy trucks at 105 km/hour, or about 65 miles/hour. Studies conducted by the federal government through Transport Canada say that the limiters demonstrate environmental, safety and cost-saving benefits, including saving about 100 million litres of fuel a year, which would in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Michaud's argument rebuts those claims and also makes the argument that the speed limiters are dangerous to drivers in that they keep drivers from being able to adjust their speed high enough to operate within the flow of traffic on a highway. By being unable to increase his speed above 105 km/hour, Michaud's argument says his truck is too slow and dangerous to operate on U.S. highways.

 

Michaud received a citation from a provincial truck inspector in June 2009 for having set his speed limiter to 110 km/hour, or 68 miles/hour.

 

Michaud's attorney, David Crocker of Toronto, presented his argument to the Justice of the Peace Brett A. Kelly of the Ontario Court of Justice over a two-day period ending on January 23, as did the province, represented by attorney Michael Dunn of the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario. Justice Kelly announced he will reveal his decision on June 6.

Source: LandLine Magazine & MTO Ontario

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