Ontario court to hear challenge to speed limiter law

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The Court of Appeals for Ontario has agreed to hear a challenge to province’s speed limiters law, according to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

The next step will be for the province’s highest court to schedule oral arguments before a three-judge panel. The case was originally filed by OOIDA member Gene Michaud, who died from cancer in 2013, according to an Aug. 20 Landline report

In July 2009, Michaud was charged for not having a working speed limiter or governor on his truck, according to court records. Earlier that year, Ontario and Quebec had mandated them for model years 1995 and newer on trucks weighing 26,000 pounds or more.

The Ontario resident had argued that the law was unconstitutional. It also decreased safety by limiting truck speed to about 65 mph, creating a speed differential between trucks and other vehicles.

Michaud cited situations of when he had found it necessary to accelerate beyond that speed. One example he gave occurred in Indiana, where he had accelerated to avoid a collision with a motorist who had lost control of their vehicle. 

In 2012, the Ontario Court of Justice ruled in favor of the owner-operator. When the Ministry of Transportation attorneys appealed, that decision was overturned.

The court permitted Michaud’s widow Barbara to proceed with the case and the appeals court was asked to make a final decision about the law’s constitutionality.

In a recent Overdrive poll, readers overwhelmingly said they did not support mandates for speed limiters on trucks. Click here to read more on the results of the poll. 

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