B.C. plans to mandate speed limiters on trucks

British Columbia is planning to mandate speed limiters on heavy-duty commercial vehicles, in a bid to reduce speed-related crashes and greenhouse gases.

Rob Fleming, B.C. minister of transportation and infrastructure, tabled Bill 23, which proposes related changes to the Motor Vehicles Act, last week.

“This legislation requires drivers to use appropriate care around pedestrians and cyclists, supports enforcement of regulations, and sets a strong foundation for testing and evaluating new technology and policies as we shift to a net-zero future in B.C.,” Fleming said in a press release.

“We are committed to improving the safety for all road users in B.C. while also creating a cleaner, future-ready transportation network on our roads,” the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure told TruckNews.com. “Speed limiter equipment in heavy-duty commercial vehicles has been shown to dramatically reduce speed-related crashes in jurisdictions where their use is required and reduce GHG emissions.”

BCTA support

The B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) applauded the move.

“The BCTA is pleased to see the province take action today to address safety concerns while providing more pathways to adopting advancing transportation technologies,” Dave Earle, BCTA president and CEO, said in a statement.

“We’ve advocated for speed limiters on heavy-duty commercial vehicles because the data shows they dramatically reduce the number of at-fault speed-related accidents. Additionally, speed limiters help green our sector by curbing fuel consumption and emissions generated by trucks traveling at high speeds. These amendments will benefit the trucking industry and British Columbians as a whole.”

Law in Ontario and Quebec

Ontario and Quebec are the only two other provinces that mandate the use of speed limiters in trucks.

Ontario made them mandatory in June 2008, capping speeds at 105 km/h. Violators there can be fined not less than $250 and not more than $20,000. Quebec followed suit in 2009 to prevent vehicles from exceeding 105 km/h. It’s offenders could face a fine of $350 to $1,050.

The B.C. ministry is reviewing the programs in Ontario and Quebec to support development of provincial regulations, including the appropriate maximum speed and associated penalties, should Bill 23 pass into law.

Penalties planned

Once in force, penalties will be in place for drivers who do not activate the speed limiter in their vehicle, set the limiter to the prescribed speed, or those who tamper with or modify the device, the ministry said.

These changes are part of B.C.’s Clean Transportation Action Plan to be released later this year. 

The amendments represent additional steps the province is taking to meet CleanBC: Roadmap to 2030 emissions reduction targets, and decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in transportation by 27% to 32%.

The bill also proposes amendments to create a safer environment for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, and supports the shift to increased active transportation.