Journalists in Quebec are having a field day one week after
Transportation Minister Julie Boulet introduced legislation that
includes stiffer penalties for speeding and a mandate for speed
limiters on heavy trucks.
Following a press conference about the topic of speeding on Friday,
Nov. 16, journalists witnessed Boulet’s limo driver breaking various
speed-related laws as he drove the minister away from the event.
Boulet did not know she was being tailed by the journalists working for Journal Montreal. She later claimed to be resting in back and unaware of the driver’s behavior.
The Journal reported their staff observed three infractions
by Boulet’s limo driver – traveling 107 kilometers per hour (66 mph) in
a 70 km/h (44 mph) zone; passing a vehicle on the right at speeds of
120 km/h (75 mph); and, traveling 130 km/h (81 mph) in a 100 km/h (62
Boulet’s critics say it’s hypocritical for her to introduce
legislation concerning highway safety while she neglects current speed
laws and the very enforcement of those laws.
“The whole episode highlights the misguided notion that
government-mandated speed-limiters on heavy trucks will contribute in
any way to safety on our highways,” said Joanne Ritchie, executive
director of the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada.
OBAC and the U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association oppose mandatory speed limiters on heavy trucks, which is
one of six proposals in legislation Boulet filed Nov. 14 in the Quebec
The legislation will be assigned to a committee and undergo further study if the committee deems it appropriate.
Other proposals in Boulet’s legislation include tougher penalties
for speeding; tougher penalties for drinking and driving; pilot
programs for photo radar and red-light cameras; prohibition of cellular
handsets while driving; and, an obligation for all new drivers to
obtain their licenses through a graduated program.
Ritchie is among those who believe Boulet’s proposals lack enforcement mechanisms and do not concentrate on the real problems.
“It should be patently obvious that Boulet is targeting the wrong
group of offenders if she wants to get speeding under control,” Ritchie
told Land Line. “It also speaks to the need for public
education. The chauffeur, like most four-wheelers on the road, needs a
lesson in sharing the road with trucks.”Courtesy of LandLine Magazine