Ontario Trucking Association

Ontario Trucking Association

November 16, 2005 13:00 ET

Ontario Trucking Association Wants Speed Limiters Activated on all Trucks

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 16, 2005) -

Calls on government to limit trucks to no more than 105 kph by mandating use of existing technology

In an overwhelming display of support, trucking companies attending today's Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Trucking Association, adopted a policy calling upon the provincial government to require all trucks that operate into, out of and within Ontario to activate the speed limiters, sometimes referred to as governors, and to set the highest speed a truck could go to no more than 105 kph. (A speed limiter is a built-in microchip that allows a truck engine's top speed to be preset. All trucks built in the last decade come equipped with this technology.)

Even though OTA says truck drivers are the least likely of all drivers to be operating at excessive speed, the association says that there are good environmental, safety and economic reasons for making the activation of speed limiters mandatory. The OTA proposal has already won support from groups like Pollution Probe, CAA Ontario, the Canada Safety Council, Traffic Injury Research Foundation, SMARTRISK, RoadWatch, Markel Insurance Company of Canada, Old Republic Insurance Company of Canada, and the Transportation Health & Safety Association of Ontario. Among the benefits OTA foresees are:

- Fuel savings of as much as 10,500 litres of diesel fuel consumed per year for a typical tractor-trailer unit (50 million litres in total for all such trucks in Ontario). At today's diesel prices, this would equate to annual savings of about $ 8,400 per truck.

- A reduction of as much as 140 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

- Less severe car-truck crashes.

- Less tailgating and improper lane changes by trucks.

- A "cushion" would still exist allowing truck to pass slower moving vehicles, avoiding "elephant races" (long stretches of trucks operating side by side).

- Less stress on truck drivers to feel pressured to speed in order to make deliveries.

- Improved tire and brake wear.

At a press conference in Toronto today, OTA president David Bradley said the OTA plan "demonstrates the industry's commitment to ensure all trucks on the highways operate at a safe speed and that incidents of tailgating and improper lane changes are reduced." In addition, he characterized the proposal "as perhaps the single most significant measure any industry has put on the table to conserve fuel and help the country meet its commitments under the Kyoto Accord."

In developing its policy, OTA consulted with a wide range of stakeholders including: truck drivers, owner-operators, carriers, truck and engine manufacturers, insurance companies, enforcement and road safety agencies, government and the motoring public. According to OTA chairman Scott Smith, president of JD Smith & Sons of Toronto, who oversaw a committee of 13 trucking company CEOs and senior executives charged with the responsibility of developing the OTA plan: "While OTA's commitment to safety is well-entrenched and great strides are being made to reduce the impact of trucks on the environment making the activation of speed limiters mandatory will help us build an ever better trucking industry in Ontario."

(i) Estimated fuel and greenhouse gas savings are based on a tractor-trailer running 125,000 miles/year

About OTA: The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is a business association representing motor carriers operating into, out of and within Ontario. The trucking industry is one of Ontario's largest employers. Trucks haul 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs produced and consumed in the province and 80% of Ontario's trade with the United States. Founded in 1926, the association's membership comprises trucking companies of all sizes, shipping all types of commodities, from all regions of North America. OTA is a member of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

Ontario Trucking Association
555 Dixon Road
Toronto, Ontario
M9W 1H8

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