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BLOG: Speed Limiters Give Drivers an Advantage

With all of the recent events concerning the speed limiter law here in Ontario, I felt I had to jump into the argument and give my opinion from a professional driver point of view. Some of you might ask what makes me a professional. Yes, I do not do the 3000 miles a week, but I do 2100 miles a week. I am a former OTA/ Volvo Driver of the Year, former OTA Road Knight, and have logged over 3,000,000 miles of accident free driving during my career.

And I've heard it before: a Road Knight is nothing but a trained mouth piece for the OTA. But I had my own opinion on the speed limiter issue long before I became a Road Knight and got more involved with the industry. I have worked for only three companies during my career and every one of them had a speed limiter set on their equipment. That's going back almost 25 years.

As a professional driver, I know my equipment and when I can push the speed issue to my advantage. You have to think ahead when you are about to pass another truck. If you feel you cannot do it on a straight away, do it on a hill. Being a professional is not only about having the licence, it's about having all the experience from all those thousands of kilometres out on the road.

I have seen the facts both presented by the OTA as well as industry specs and maintenance / safety records from quite a few companies. The numbers don’t lie. Speed is a factor in most accidents occurring on our highways today. The whole idea of the law is simple. Slower trucks can lead to fewer accidents, less fuel used by your equipment, as well as less stress on a driver. That is why we have a speed limit for any vehicle traveling on a public roadway.

I'm sorry; I do not buy the argument that having the speed limit on a truck set at 105 km/h can lead to an accident. I read the mainstream press, as well as industry trade publications, and I have not seen an accident that was directly related to a speed limiter.

Yes, I admit sometimes it is nice being able to pass another truck with ease as we did a few years ago before the speed limiter rule came into effect. But I also admit I do like the advantage the speed limiter rules have given drivers. What advantage?

The advantage is time. Drivers can only be pushed as fast as the speed limiter rule can allow, 105Km/h. Now the issue that I see with drivers on Ontario’s highway is simple: why are we not all following the rules?

Last month, during my normal run to south western Ontario, I was travelling up the Niagara Escarpment hill in Milton, ON. (This is not the long grade like in western Canada but it can slow down most tractor trailers.) I was travelling in the passing lane for truck as I was trying to pass a waste hauler from Cam Hitlz Trucking. No big deal, I was doing my 105Km/h and he was travelling at a slower speed with his four way flashers on in the slow lane. My trailer was halfway past his tractor when I saw headlights flashing. I looked back and it was not the waste hauler flashing me; it was a very impatient gravel hauler driver behind me.

I was in the left lane to pass a slower vehicle that was in the right lane. At my 105km/h limit, I was quite able to pass the other truck. The driver that was behind me could not wait the three minutes it was going to take for me to pass; he had to pull out into the passing lane for cars (otherwise called the "center lane against the wall") and I was passed like I was standing still.

Then, before he had fully passed me, he decides to change lanes in front of me only to exit the highway at the very next exit.

I do not see where my speed limit would have been the factor if there was an accident. The driver who was so eager to pass the two of us would have been at fault. Why? His speed would have been the main factor.

(On a side note, I would love to know when gravel hauling become a just in time system.)

The point I am trying to make here is if all commercial vehicles are supposed to run at 105 km/h, why aren't they? The stress level could come right down if drivers realized the advantage of following the rules. And do I even have to go into the fuel savings? The numbers are there and they don’t lie.

Shippers need to realize the travel time between cities here in Ontario. Don’t expect the load that is picked up in Windsor to make Toronto in three hours. At 105, it takes four hours. Don’t rush when safety is an issue.

Remember drive safe and keep it between the lines.

 

 

Filed Under: Blogs Speed Limiters Ontario Regulations.
 
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blzerblu72

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Sounds like Guy knows how to play the game. Belonging to so many alphabet soup organizations, he has to. I'm your neighbor from the south, and it is beyond my imagination why the government has to limit your speed in big trucks slower than cars. I know, mine does to but not to the extent you have to bear. If 105 kms is a safe speed, why not go to 50 kms, and be safer>? Something for you to talk about at your next safety meeting Guy.

Brian

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With your own words in your blog, "I was in the left lane to pass a slower vehicle that was in the right lane. At my 105km/h limit, I was quite able to pass the other truck. The driver that was behind me could not wait the three minutes it was going to take for me to pass;" You were breaking the LAW. Also blocking a passing lane. Yes the driver who jumped into the 3rd lane was breaking to law as well, but ask your self who created that situation. Next time, stay in the right lane till it's safe to pass.

Guy Broderick

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Luvpup After 30 years in the business and having a accident free driving record to boot I do feel I know about this business. I have been on both side of the counter and I do know what I am talking about. Show me a accident that was proven to be caused by a speed limiter. The sign says 100 km/h period. Any faster you are breaking the law and you are risking your life as well as others with your driving habits. It is simple slow a manage your time better.

Palladini

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Any body that complains about the 105 KM/hr speed setting. We have speed limits in Ontario, 105 is faster than any speed limit sign I have seen posted in Ontario, so shut up, if you are going any faster, your speeding!

Luvpup

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What a bunch of bull....! Typical company driver who doesn't know anything about a tractor that has the advantage of power and use it as needed. Slow speed is a factor in accidents! It is the cause of frustration, aggravation and road rage. This driver may have a bunch of self serving definitions on various organizations, but he is not a true professional driver. I'll bet he can even say how great electronic boxes make him a better and safer driver...Grrrr...he doesn't even deserve the attention on his lame comments ...!!! He is not a pro and he definitely does not represent a the majority of true truckers.

Gordon A

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I don't understand why so many people, drivers and management alike cant see that slow speed is and can be a factor in accidents. People think slow is safe. BS.... Every truck is governed at the same speed is down right stupid, unsafe and an accident waiting to happen.Passing takes long building road rage in the persons behind with little patience. Until the government allows robots to drive trucks there will always be the human factor involved. Slow trucks are a source of road rage among car drivers and some truckers. Limiters are a device of those that refuse to understand the real world of traffic. Eliminate road rage and you eliminate many accidents. Speed limiters do neither.

Gordon A

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I don't understand why so many people, drivers and management alike cant see that slow speed is and can be a factor in accidents. People think slow is safe. BS.... Every truck is governed at the same speed is down right stupid, unsafe and an accident waiting to happen.Passing takes long building road rage in the persons behind with little patience. Until the government allows robots to drive trucks there will always be the human factor involved. Slow trucks are a source of road rage among car drivers and some truckers. Limiters are a device of those that refuse to understand the real world of traffic. Eliminate road rage and you eliminate many accidents. Speed limiters doe neither.

Spaceman

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" i have never read about an accident related to speed limiter".......Do you really think that an accident related to speed limiting would get reported in one of these trade publications? If you do, then you've drank the Kool-Aid for too long. Speed limiters are here to stay I understand that, it doesn't mean they are safe...how many times have you seen furstrated car drivers because a pair of trucks decide to take a 5 mile journey down the 2 lane portion of the 401side by side? Drivers make roads safe, not speed limiters....never have, never will.

snafu

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You're entitled to your opinion Guy but I have nothing but contempt for those who continue to support speed limiters set at 105km/hr when in many jurisdictions throughout North America, the speed limit far exceeds that. But if you're incapable of recognizing the bottle necks that the morons who brought this in have created...well that's on you.

Anonymous

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Now boys, stop moaning, over here in the UK our speed limiters are set to 89 kms, although the national speed limit on our motorways is 96kms/60mps, we also have trucks with limiters that are not set correctly.
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