Hey guess what? Turns out, truckers’ lives don’t matter. At least that’s how the courts feel in Ontario.
For those of you who are unaware, there’s a speed limiter law in Ontario that says all commercial trucks have to be governed at 65 mph, and for several years this law has been the subject of debate within the Ontario courts, specifically in the case of Gene Michaud, who was given a ticket in 2009 for having his truck governed at 68, instead of at or below 65.
Not once, but twice, this case has been found in favor of Michaud, who appealed based on his belief that 65 was arbitrary, and his limiter at 68 was still well below the flow of traffic. In 2012, an Ontario traffic court judge declared that the provincial (speed limiter) law harmed his ability to operate safely, and tossed the case. That wasn’t good enough for the province. Even though Michaud was ill and near death by this time, they appealed the case, and after Michaud’s death, they allowed his widow to stand proxy for the outcome.
The Ontario Court of Appeals (think Supreme Court in the US) found that Section 7 (of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) was violated (by the limiter law) and puts the truck driver in a dangerous situation.
Sounds like a win, right? But no. Wait for it….
In the same turn, the court allowed the original law to stand, citing that “a law can stand and be considered constitutional if it shows and justifies a broad societal interest.”
Wait a minute. What?
So two courts have determined this law is dangerous to the trucker, and yet it’s OK, because the truckers don’t represent a “broad societal interest?”
Apparently, Ontario isn’t aware of how this works. If the people who bring you literally every single thing you eat, drink, wear, sit on, lay on and pee in don’t represent a “broad societal interest” then I’m afraid no one does. The stark stupidity of the statement alone is terrifying.
Trucker lives matter. Hell, ALL lives matter – this isn’t a “pick and choose” kind of statement, but when a high court determines it’s OK for truckers to die because of flawed “safety” regulations, it’s not for the better good, or even acceptable collateral damage. It’s because they won’t admit they’re wrong, and like evil pre-schoolers, they will pitch temper tantrums all over hell and creation to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Meanwhile, people (truckers) die.
Way to go, Ontario. Thanks for pointing out yet another place we will never bring our truck.