Julie Boulet, minister of transportation in the Canadian province of
Quebec, introduced a six-point highway bill Wednesday, Nov. 14, that
includes a push for mandatory speed limiters on heavy trucks.
proposed amendment to the Highway Safety Code calls for speed limiters
to be set at 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph, on all heavy trucks
operating in the province, regardless of where they are base plated.
legislation also includes proposals for red-light cameras and photo
radar, stricter penalties for speeding, stricter penalties for drunken
driving, a ban on cell phone handsets, and graduated drivers’ licenses
for new drivers.
Critics of the bill, including
owner-operator associations in Canada and the U.S., say it lacks
resources for enforcement, particularly the enforcement of existing
“It not only misses the point but it will create a mess
in the process,” said Laura O’Neill, government affairs counsel for the
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “It would create a mess
because speed differentials cause unsafe highways.”
University of Arkansas study showed that roadways where there are speed
differentials with cars traveling faster than trucks have more
interactions between the two types of vehicles, which makes people take
chances behind the wheel.
A Quebec transportation spokesman told Land Line
that Boulet’s bill will be sent to a committee whose members can call
for further studies. While in committee, the proposed legislation could
be amended any number of times prior to an eventual vote in the Quebec
National Assembly – the equivalent of a state legislature in the U.S.
is not a law yet,” spokesman Mario St-Pierre said, adding that some
type of law usually emerges from a proposal introduced by a minister.
critics, including those in the Assembly’s opposition parties, have
frowned upon the emotional plea Boulet made to the media about speeding
prior to filing the proposal.
Boulet called a press
conference three days before filing the bill to call attention to the
tragic death of a 3-year-old girl who was killed by a speeding
passenger vehicle on Halloween.
Opposition leaders considered
blocking Boulet’s legislation, according to a current affairs show
called “Sans Compromis” (“Without Compromise”) that is aired in French
on XM Canada Channel 172. The show, hosted by Stephane Gendron, mayor
of Huntington, Quebec, has covered the issue of speed limiters for
several months, according to frequent listener and OOIDA member Jean
Catudal of Yamaska, Quebec.
Catudal started a petition and
has collected more than 750 names from truckers in Quebec, Ontario, the
rest of Canada and across the U.S. who are opposed to speed limiters.
To read and/or sign the petition, click here.
Quebec isn’t the only Canadian province considering speed limiters.
Transportation Minister Jim Bradley has said that speed limiters are a
priority in his province as well. Bradley has not taken formal action
or introduced legislation to this point.
OOIDA and the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada continue to fight the issue in both provinces.
issue is not about speeding or anything illegal, it’s about enforcement
of current speed limits and allowing trucks to travel at safe highway
speeds to avoid dangerous interactions with other vehicles, O’Neill
said. Courtesy of LandLine Magazine