Electronically limiting truck speeds will promote a cleaner environment, safer roads and a stronger economy in Ontario and Québec.
Starting January 1, 2009, most large trucks driven in Ontario will be required to use electronic speed limiters that cap their speed at a maximum of 105 kilometres per hour.
Studies conducted by the federal government, through Transport Canada, have demonstrated environmental, safety and cost saving benefits of speed limiters. Ontario and Québec are now working together to jointly launch and implement speed limiter regulations.
Several transportation companies have already limited their vehicles’ speed to 105 km/h or less in response to the many benefits of speed limiters.
There are environmental, safety and cost benefits from mandating the use of speed limiters. Reducing the speed of a vehicle will result in lower fuel consumption that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and saves money on fuel purchases. As well, the risk of collision is reduced when driving at lower speeds.
Setting truck speed limiters at 105 km/h on all heavy trucks in Ontario would save about 100 million litres of fuel a year - the equivalent of 280,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions according to the results of the 2007 Transport Canada study.
Roads and signage are designed for maximum driver safety if the posted speed limits are observed. Speed limits are set based on scientific calculations of human capabilities (visual perception, reaction time, shock resistance) and vehicle performance (braking, adherence, etc.). The safety of road users is at risk if the speed limit is exceeded.
Drivers expose themselves to a number of dangers by exceeding speed limits. Driving at higher speeds induces major stress that results in driver fatigue and loss of concentration. Speeding makes it more difficult to react to changes, stop suddenly and control the vehicle and in case of a collision, the higher the speed the more severe the collision.
Setting speed limiters at 105 km/h or less will reduce the operating costs of many transportation companies by reducing fuel consumption and increasing vehicle energy efficiency.
Ontario passed legislation to mandate the use of speed limiters on commercial vehicles in June 2008. The supporting regulations were adopted on November 10, 2008.
Police and MTO enforcement officers will use both existing traffic control techniques and portable electronic testing units to verify the activation of a vehicle speed limiter at 105 km/h maximum.
The use of portable electronic testing units will provide access to the vehicle engine data and confirm if the limiter has been activated at a speed of 105 km/h or less. It will be necessary for officers to plug into a data port located within the cab of the truck.
Speed limiter regulations is in force effective January 1, 2009. There will be an educational enforcement period of six months to allow carriers to have the vehicle speed limiter set during the normal course of maintenance avoiding unnecessary additional costs to comply with the legislated requirement. Traditional enforcement will commence once the educational enforcement period is complete.