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Wednesday, November 05 2008

News > Headline News > 11/05/2008  
OOIDA blasts PQ Minister for reneging on speed limiters; promises to sue

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – Quebec's Transport Minister Julie Boulet has backed out of a promise to hold off on mandatory speed limiters until other Canadian jurisdictions jump on board the bandwagon, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is complaining.

So far, Ontario is the only other province to pass speed limiter legislation requiring truckers to set engine speed settings to 105 km/h. As was the first to report last week, both provinces are aiming for a 'soft enforcement" implementation date of Jan. 1, 2009.

In a press release, OOIDA denounced Boulet for the "changé l'esprit." Last December, Quebec trucker and OOIDA member Jean Catudal insists he was given assurances by transport officials that Quebec would hold off on its proposed rule until the rest of Canada enacted similar legislation and Transport Canada released its own studies on the effectiveness and safety issues of speed limiters.


OOIDA hopes Ontario and Quebec's speed limiter
plans aren't infectious and spread to south of the border

Transport Canada unveiled that series of reports this past summer, and while an initial press release from the minister's office chose to tout the environmental benefits of speed limiters, the completed studies, when read fully, don't exactly paint a rosy picture of mandatory engine governors (as we reported at the time in an exclusive feature, found here).

"Our members are furious," said Rick Craig, OOIDA's director of regulatory affairs. "Not only is Minister Boulet going back on her word, she is also disregarding the grim implications this decision will have on trade at a time when Canada and the U.S. can least afford it."

The 160,000-trucker strong, Missouri-based group -- backed by its Canadian counterpart, the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada -- is forging ahead with plans to sue the provinces if they go through with the enforcement of speed limiters. OOIDA says the rules are an affront to NAFTA.

"If Minister Boulet follows through with this announcement, thousands of truckers throughout Canada and the U.S. will effectively be barred from operating in Quebec. That is a serious anti-competitive move that cannot go unchallenged.”

The large trucking companies who are pushing for a speed limiter mandate "well know it will not increase safety or benefit the environment as they’ve advertised," Craig added, reiterating a common concern of many independent operators. "They’re in it for limiting competition and harming the little guy."




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Source: Today's


Speed limiters are an unsafe idea unless you are going to place speed limiters equally set on ALL vehicles. It is just like split speed limits which are equally unsafe. Singling out trucks is unsafe and should be illegal. Traffic needs to flow together not in status clumps with rolling roadblocks due to slower vehicles. States and Providences that require “special” regulations to operate in their jurisdictions are hurting the economy. CA has excessive rulings in place at the ports as of Oct 1 and now Quebec wants to join that same status making them undesirable to do business within their jurisdiction.  San Francisco’s “special law” regarding forced health insurance coverage if you do business in the city is forcing businesses out instead of protecting employees which was the intent of the law. The speed limiters and clean air restrictions will produce similar results.
These insurance, clean air and speed restrictors are not the answer. The special interest groups behind these regulatory decisions are only trying to force the little guy out of business; just as your article states. It is tipping the field in favor of big business who can afford these restrictive items. To me, this is along the same lines as the US Government who wants to implement the EBORs which only big business can afford. Both the US and Canada are both moving in the direction of putting the small business man out of business. What they do not realize is that the big business man cannot do some of the specialty jobs that the independent can. Moreover, they are not willing to do the job and if they do the cost will be exceedingly high. If the small business man, who is currently doing the work, charged the rates that the big business will ultimately charge, they too could remain afloat with the ever increasing regulations.
The government needs to stay out of business. Oversight is one thing but this is now moving to a new ground of interference. The US has gone over the deep end with the preface of “Homeland Security” before anything they desire that would not otherwise be legal. Now state and providential jurisdictions are jumping on a similar bandwagon to strong-arm their will into the business arena. Their mask is the preface of “safety”.  It is good to see the ATA and US Justice Dept standing up to CA legislators against the Port Authority.  The Owner Operator Associations in the US and Canada need to take a stand against Quebec.

It is sad that we cannot afford to just boycott these areas of excessive regulations without causing ourselves excessive financial harm. Hitting ones bottom-line is always the best way to make a point. They are hitting ours. It is time to hit back. We all need to be safe, obey the law and work together out there. The trucker has enough limitations and unrealistic time frames on him/her already. Adding more regulations only hurts the economy, the consumer and trade.

Support the OOIDA and small business.Your comments are encouraged and welcomed.  Please post here and at the Right Turn Blog via the link above. 

Posted by: The DOT Doctor AT 07:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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